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Alaska fights back to take semis opener against ROS

By Dugout Philippines

Alaska bucked an early double-digit deficit before beating Rain Or Shine, 87-80, in the first game of their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semifinal tie at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Elasto Painters raced to a 32-17 lead in the second period.

But the Aces crawled back and cut the lead to three, 43-40, at halftime.

Rain Or Shine looked to reopen the huge spread by scoring the first five points of the third quarter.

But Alaska controlled the rest of the quarter and took a 61-58 lead entering the final period.

Sonny Thoss opened the fourth with a field goal to stretch the lead to five.

But five straight points from Jonathan Uyloan and Paul Lee tied the match, 63-all.

R.J. Jazul scored two charities to put the Aces back up, 65-63.

But Raymond Almazan sparked a 7-0 Elasto Painters run to go up, 70-65, with 8:38 left.

Alaska threatened as it scored six of the next eight points to come to within one anew, 71-72.

But four more markers from Rain Or Shine increased its lead to five anew, 76-71.

The Aces then unleashed the game-turning 14-1 run to go up for good, 85-77.

Thoss and Jvee Casio each had 16 points for the Aces, who avenged a heartbreaking loss to the Elasto Painters in the eliminations that costed them an outright semis berth.

Calvin Abueva added a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds together with five assists, a block, and a steal.

Jeff Chan came off the bench to lead the Elasto Painters with 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Box Scores:

Alaska 87-Thoss 16, Casio 16, Abueva 14, Jazul 12, Menk 8, Baguio 7, Exciminiano 6, Manuel 4, Dela Cruz 3, Banchero 1, Eman 0, Hontiveros 0, Espinas 0, Dela Rosa 0

Rain Or Shine 80-Chan 17, Belga 11, Almazan 10, Arana 8, Lee 7, Tang 7, Uyloan 6, Norwood 6, Cruz 6, Ibanes 2, Tiu 0, Quinahan 0, Teng 0

Quarterscores: 14-21, 40-43, 61-58, 87-80