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Alaska extends series, spoils ROS sweep bid

By Julian Reyes

QUEZON CITY--Alaska is still alive.

The Alaska Aces lived to fight another day as it foiled the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters' sweep bid in the highly-physical Game 4 of the 2016 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals with a 111-99 victory at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night.

The Aces used a huge second and third quarter blitz to build a lead to as much as 23, before fending off an Elasto Painters late scare and extend their series to a Game 5 on Sunday at the said venue.

Despite the loss, Rain or Shine still holds a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Alaska's import Rob Dozier top scored the Aces with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Chris Banchero and newly-minted Best Player of the Conference Calvin Abueva provided the spark off the bench as the two combined for 31 markers.

Three other Aces finished with double figures as the team finally clicked on both ends of the floor with its suffocating defense forced their Rain or Shine counterparts to several errors which eventually translated into transition points.

"We showed up. We just did what we're supposed to do," said Alaska's head coach Alex Compton. "I wish we've been playing this way earlier."

Playing with tremendous intensity on both ends of the floor, the Aces took command early and never let the Elasto Painters draw nearer until the fourth as it entered the last frame with an immense 23-point lead, 90-67.

Showing persistence, Rain or Shine tried to rally back as it trimmed the lead to only eight, 107-99, after a comeback capped by a Maverick Ahinmisi's trifecta.

Alaska proved Rain or Shine's last blast was too late as it finally sealed the deal with four straight freebies conversion from RJ Jazul.

Aside from spoiling a chance for a sweep, Rain or Shine's loss also trampled Ahinmisi's career-night of 30 points in a game which saw a heated match in the end.

During the last frame, series of technical fouls were called by the referees, including one that cost Abueva the game.

Box Scores:

Alaska 111-Dozier 23, Banchero 17, Jazul 15, Abueva 14, Baguio 11, Thoss 11, Hontiveros 7, Racal 7, Dela Cruz 4, Baclao 2, Dela Rosa 0

Rain Or Shine 99-Ahanmisi 30, Lee 11, Chan 10, Quinahan 10, Cruz 9, Norwood 9, Belga 6, Ibanes 4, Henderson-Niles 3, Ponferada 3, Almazan 2, Tiu 2, Teng 0

Quarterscores: 25-21, 54-39, 90-67, 111-99

Follow him on Twitter: @JrAdmiral_16