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Abueva "Beasting" as Aces extend series

PBA
By Ricky Manliguis

QUEZON CITY-- Blame it on "The Beast".

Calvin Abueva inflicted the killer blows at crunch time as the Alaska Aces kept their title hopes alive with a hard-fought 86-78 win over Rain or Shine in Game 5 of the Oppo-PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The newly-minted Best Player of the Conference awardee scored on an undergoal stab off a brilliant dish by RJ Jazul then put the game out of hand with a double-pumped teardrop shot with 1:14 left in the final quarter.

Abueva, the former San Sebastian stalwart, finished with a double-double effort of 20 points and 13 rebounds along with two blocked shots. Import Rob Dozier added 14 points along with eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Dondon Hontiveros came off the bench to fire 12 on three three-point shots.

It was a nip-and-tuck battle from the get-go, as the Aces went on an 11-2 run early in the game only for the Painters to counter with a 15-2 salvo for a 17-13 lead on a Pierre Henderson-Niles basket before the quarter ended 19-15 for ROS.

The second and third quraters were even more hotly-contested, as the Painters even took a 57-56 lead heading into the final period.

After Paul Lee tied the game at 69 with a booming three-pointer at the 6:29 mark of the game, the Aces scored seven unanswered points, including Jazul's two charities off Beau Belga for a 76-69 advantage.

JR QuiƱahan retaliated with a three of his own to trim the lead to four, 80-76, before Abueva took matters into his own hands.

Jeff Chan paced the Painters with 17 points, while Lee had 14. Henderson-Niles had another forgettable performance, finishing with only 6 points and eight rebounds with five turnovers.

Rain or Shine still leads the series, 3-2. Game 6 will be this coming Wednesday also at the Big Dome.

Box Scores:

Alaska 86-Abueva 20, Dozier 14, Jazul 13, Hontiveros 12, Baguio 11, Banchero 6, Racal 5, Baclao 2, Thoss 2, Dela Rosa 1

Rain Or Shine 78-Chan 17, Lee 16, Quinahan 9, Cruz 8, Ponferada 8, Henderson Niles 6, Norwood 5, Belga 4, Almazan 2, Ibanes 2, Ahanmisi 1, Tiu 0

Quarterscores: 15-19, 37-40, 56-57, 86-78

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