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Aces drop Beermen; Bolts alive

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 11/7/2018 Nelson Beltran
Aces drop Beermen; Bolts alive © Jun Mendoza Aces drop Beermen; Bolts alive

MANILA, Philippines — Alaska Milk summoned all the energy and effort it needed for a lockdown defense against the league’s top offensive team, and ended a series of nightmare playoff losses to San Miguel Beer with a 96-85 triumph in their quarterfinals matchup in the PBA Governors Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome last night.

The Aces held the Beermen 26 points below their average in a tremendous defensive job they used in gutting out the triumph that handed Alaska the third semifinal berth in the season-ending tourney.

Earlier, Meralco sustained the momentum of its superb chase in the end part of the elims, turning back Phoenix Petroleum, 90-74, to force a knockout setto in their own quarters matchup tomorrow over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s about defense. I think everyone did a great job on defense. All the guys played their hearts out the entire game,” said import Mike Harris as they knocked out the Philippine Cup four-peat champs to join fellow top seeds Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia in the semis.

“San Miguel is a great team that’s peaking at the right time and they’re a great challenge for us. I don’t know about the rivalry, and that’s a good thing for me. I didn’t focus on that and just tried to be aggressive and assertive,” Harris also said.

With 25 points, 17 rebounds and two assists, Harris served as the lead force as the Aces snapped four successive losses to the Beermen in the playoffs – three in the finals.

The Aces stormed away from a 43-42 halftime edge and led by many as 21 before ending the season of the Beermen, including top MVP contender June Mar Fajardo and BPC top bet Christian Standhardinger.

Meralco also used a tough defensive effort to get past Phoenix early in the night.

The Bolts dragged the Fuel Masters to a low-scoring defensive battle in the first half before unleashing a major run to seize control in the third, and went on to win a fifth straight do-or-die game in the tourney.

NOTES: Christian Standhardinger delivered imports’ numbers all tournament long, and emerged the runaway leader in the stats race for the Best Player of the Conference. Putting in 23.3 points, 13.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steal and 0.6 block a game, Standhardinger leads the derby with 43.1 statistical points per outing. Japeth Aguilar is second with 34.8 SPs, followed by Chris Banchero (34.2), Stanley Pringle (34.0) and Calvin Abueva (31.9) ... Alaska’s Mike Harris (60.4), Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee (59.1) and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps (58.0) are bunched tightly on top in the Best Import race.

The scores: 

First Game

Meralco 90 – Durham 26, Newsome 16, Amer 14, Tolomia 9, Canaleta 9, Hugnatan 7, Salva 5, Dillinger 2, Faundo 2, Hodge 0, Ballesteros 0, Caram 0, Jamito 0.

Phoenix 74 – Phelps 27, Abueva 18, Perkins 9, Wright 8, Chua 6, Intal 4, Jazul 2, Revilla 0, Kramer 0, Wilson 0, Mendoza 0.

Quarterscores: 15-17, 33-35, 66-55, 90-74

Second Game

Alaska 96 – Harris 25, Enciso 15, Manuel 14, Teng 9, Baclao 6, Exciminiano 6, Casio 5, Thoss 4, Banchero 2.

San Miguel 85 – Murphy 19, Standhardinger 18, Lassiter 14, Santos 8, Nabong 8, Cabagnot 6, Fajardo 6, Ross 4, Heruela 2.

Quarterscores: 23-19, 43-42, 64-49, 96-85

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