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Alaska clinches quarterfinal berth with Davao drubbing of Star


By Ivan Saldajeno

DAVAO--Alaska booked a seat into the next round of the PBA Commissioner's Cup after trouncing Star, 100-92, at the USEP Gym on Saturday night.

The Aces failed to hold on to a blistering start but came up with a clutch rally to not just earn another trip to the quarterfinals but also bring the Hotshots to the verge of elimination.

Alaska raced to a 19-9 lead in the first quarter, but Star slowly recovered and took a lead as large as seven, the last at 54-47 in the third.

The Aces slowly crawled back and eventually took back the lead in the fourth before pulling away for good with an 8-2 run in the game's dying moments.

The key bench players for Alaska came to work as Calvin Abueva tallied 21 points and six rebounds and Chris Banchero made 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal in a game where Shane Edwards had a quiet ten points.

Ricardo Ratliffe scorched for 34 points, 20 rebounds, and three assists for Star, but the team must now win in its remaining game against Mahindra to have a chance to barge to the top eight.

The result also secured a quarterfinal seat for Meralco, which is trying to make a great bounce back from a dismal Philippine Cup campaign.

Box Scores:

Alaska 100-Abueva 21, Banchero 15, Thoss 13, Baguio 11, Edwards 10, Jazul 9, Hontiveros 7, Dela Cruz 4, Manuel 4, Baclao 2, Dela Rosa 2, Menk 2, Eman 0, Exciminiano 0, Racal 0

Star 92-Ratliffe 34, Maliksi 15, Pingris 14, Simon 10, Barroca 8, Melton 6, Pingris 3, Sangalang 2, Cruz 0, Mallari 0

Quarterscores: 19-14, 38-38, 68-70, 100-92

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