Alaska clinches finals berth after edging Meralco
It’s Magnolia versus Alaska in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup Finals.
The Aces clinched the second spot in the best-of-seven championship series after eliminating the Meralco Bolts, 99-92, in Game 4 of the best-of-five semifinals at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City on Saturday night.
Alaska stifled Meralco in the third quarter, limiting its opponent to just 12 third quarter points to open a 68-60 lead entering the fourth.
The Bolts still put up a fight early in the fourth, cutting the lead down to one, 76-75, with 5:52 left, but the Aces responded with a 10-1 run to up the lead to 10 again, 86-76, with 3:55 remaining.
Meralco had one final push, drawing to within three, 87-90, with 1:27 to play, but crucial free throws from Mike Harris, Kevin Racal, and Simon Enciso helped seal the win for Alaska.
Harris finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, and three steals for the Aces, whose finals showdown against the Hotshots will begin on Dec. 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jvee Casio added 14 points, two boards, and one dime.
Allen Durham fired 31 markers, 14 caroms, three assists, and two blocks for the Bolts, whose Cinderella run came to a screeching halt. (PNA)