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Alaska outlasts NLEX's late rally

By Josh Castro

Alaska almost squandered a 13-point lead but still held on to a 96-95 win against NLEX in the lone Saturday game of the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

The Aces led, 69-56, with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter.

But the Road Warriors closed the period on a 17-6 run to cut the lead to two, 75-73. Al Thornton then opened the fourth with a field goal to tie the match.

Alaska scored five straight points to lead, 80-75, but NLEX outscored the squad, 10-5, to tie the game anew, 85-all.

Vic Manuel scored four straight to put the Aces back on top, 89-85. He, however, clutched to his left knee after he fell down with over three minutes to play and his team up, 93-89.

Thornton fired a triple to cut the lead to one, but Calvin Abueva answered with a shot of his own to stretch the lead to three.

Asi Taulava drew the Road Warriors closer as he scored inside to once again trim their deficit to one, 94-95.

Cyrus Baguio only made 1-of-2 from the free throw line in the next play, giving NLEX a chance to tie again, but Taulava split his own pair of charities and Alaska's lead is one.

The Road Warriors gained a chance to steal the win as Dondon Hontiveros missed a jumper with four seconds left, but they failed to convert a shot as time expired.