San Mig ousts Alaska, books PBA semis seat
The San Mig Coffee Mixers caught the last bus to the semifinal round after grinding out an 83-73 win over the Alaska Aces last night in their do-or-die quarterfinal showdown of the 38th PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Coffee Mixers pounced on Alaska’s erratic endgame plays to arrange a best-of-five semifinal series against the Meralco Bolts.
The other semifinal series pits the Petron Blaze Boosters and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. The semifinalists are the top four seeds in the playoffs.
San Mig capitalized its twice-to-beat advantage to the hilt, bouncing back strong after Alaska pulled off a 112-95 triumph in their first encounter that set up the sudden-death duel.
The Coffee Mixers took control of the match for most part of the game but had to fend off Alaska’s repeated rallies in the endgame.
San Mig Coffee took a 69-58 lead in the final 6:55.Alaska tried to duplicate its previous come-from-behind win when it trimmed the deficit to just four, 70-74, with exactly two minutes left.
Alaska, however, put its gallant effort to naught when it committed two crucial errors down the stretch.Alaska had the chance to cut that four-point deficit but Cyrus Baguio threw an errant pass to JVee Casio.
The Aces paid dearly for the error as Mark Barroca canned a jumper that gave San Mig a 76-70 lead with 46.9 seconds to go.
Alaska further self-destructed as Casio also committed a wayward pass intended for Baguio in the next play that led to a split free throw by Alex Mallari, putting San Mig safely ahead, 77-70, time down to 41.1 seconds.
Marqus Blakely tallied 30 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead San Mig despite shooting an awful 10-for-22 from the free throw line.
His counterpart, Wendell McKines also struggled from the charity stripe as he went five-for-17, including seven missed free throws in the crucial four period.
McKines still topped the Aces with 24 markers while Baguio was the top local scorer with 20.
SAN MIG (83) – Blakely 30, Devance 12, Maliksi 10, Barroca 7, Simon 7, Mallari 6, Pingris 4, Reavis 3, Ponferrada 2, Yap 2.
ALASKA (73)- McKines 24, Baguio 20, Dela Cruz 10, Thoss 6, Casio 5, Abueva 4, Jazul 3, Espinas 1, Hontiveros 0.
QUARTERSCORES: 18-12, 39-35, 61-53, 83-73.
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