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Barako escapes Alaska in OT

By Josh Castro

PASAY--Barako Bull lost a late nine-point lead but held on to a 93-91 win against Alaska in an overtime thriller to cap the PBA Commissioner's Cup doubleheader at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Energy went ahead, 83-74, with 5:01 remaining in regulation.

But a three-pointer from Dondon Hontiveros sparked a 7-0 Aces run to close the gap to two, 83-81, with 2:37 left.

Dave Marcelo scored off a follow-up to momentarily stretch Barako Bull's lead to four, 85-81, entering the last two minutes of the fourth quarter.

But four straight points from Alaska capped by free throws from Damian James tied the game, 85-all, with 1:14 left.

Both teams struggled to find the game-winning basket in the remainder of the regulation as the game went into extension.

They then went on an exchange of baskets to start the overtime session that was capped by another field goal by Marcelo to put the Energy up, 91-89.

Barako got a chance to extend the lead as Cyrus Baguio lost the ball, but R.R. Garcia also committed a turnover, giving Alaska 40.9 seconds to map the potential equalizer.

James then got fouled and made two free throws with 25.5 seconds to go.

Sol Alabi missed on his first try in the next play, but he got the ball back and converted a putback with 2.5 seconds remaining.

His team, however, was whistled for a technical foul for delay of game. James, who was steady from the free throw line all game long, missed the technical free throw, forcing Alaska to go for the three to steal the win.

Hontiveros, however, missed the game-winning triple as Barako Bull snapped a five-game losing streak in overtime games dating back to 2013.

Alabi led the Energy with 23 points, 19 rebounds, four blocks, and a steal, while Marcelo posted a career-high 18 points together with eight rebounds and a block.

James scored 39 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and three steals for the Aces.

Box Scores:

Barako Bull 93-Alabi 23, Marcelo 18, Mercado 15, Lastimosa 12, Intal 12, Pascual 6, Garcia 4, Lanete 3, Chua 0, Hubalde 0

Alaska 91-James 39, Manuel 13, Exciminiano 8, Jazul 8, Baguio 6, Menk 6, Hontiveros 3, Dela Rosa 2, Espinas 2, Dela Cruz 2, Casio 2, Banchero 0, Abueva 0

Quarterscores: 22-21, 45-43, 66-65, 85-85, 93-91