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Alaska pulls away in OT against Ginebra


By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--PBA's Sunday night offering started in an overtime thriller and ended in another overtime clash.

However, Alaska made sure the winner in the nightcap against Ginebra will be known way before the final horn.

The Aces dominated the extra five minutes and romped the Barangay, 109-100, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alaska lost a 15-point lead in regulation but went on a decisive 15-2 run in the free basketball to repulse a gritty Ginebra squad inspired by a huge crowd and the naming of five of its players as All-Star starters.

[Related Story: Ginebra stars lead PBA All-Star starters]

The Gin Kings went off to a good start, opening an 11-2 lead, but the Aces answered with a 20-3 run to go up, 22-14.

Alaska then tried to pull away for good, going on a 9-0 blast for their largest lead, 40-25, and took control of the latter part of the regulation.

Ginebra took over in the fourth quarter, however, erasing Alaska's huge advantage and went ahead, 94-92, with 2:06 left.

However, the team failed to extend the lead as Joe Devance missed both free throws following an RJ Jazul foul with 1:08 left. Worse, Jazul tied the game with his own pair of charities after he drew Devance's sixth foul with 51.8 seconds remaining in regulation.

Dave Marcelo had a chance to give the Gin Kings the lead back, but his wide open jumper rimmed out.

He bounced back defensively as he took the steal after Chris Banchero failed to handle LaDontae Henton's pass with 4.5 seconds to go in the fourth.

Sol Mercado, however, failed to win it outright for Ginebra as his tough layup failed to go in as time expired.

Justin Brownlee scored the first basket of the overtime session for the Gin Kings with a fallaway, but that turned out to be his last stand as Paul Harris' replacement, already suffering from cramps in regulation, felt the pain again with 3:41 left and never returned.

The Aces took advantage of it by going on the crucial rally to take the win.

Henton nearly finished with a double-double after tallying 29 points and nine rebounds for Alaska, while Chris Banchero added 19 points, three rebounds, three assists, and five steals.

Calvin Abueva impressed in his Governors' Cup debut with 12 points, ten rebounds, three assists, one block, and one steal off the bench.

Brownlee had 31 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, and two steals, while Mercado contributed 22 points, two rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block for Ginebra.

Box Scores:

Alaska 109-Henton 29, Banchero 19, Jazul 14, Abueva 12, Casio 7, Manuel 6, Thoss 6, Hontiveros 5, Menk 5, Racal 3, Baclao 2, Exciminiano 1, Magat 0

Ginebra 100-Brownlee 31, Mercado 22, Tenorio 13, Aguilar 9, Ellis 8, Caguioa 4, Cruz 4, Mariano 4, Thompson 3, Devance 1, Marcelo 1, Bonifacio 0, Helterbrand 0

Quarterscores: 33-25, 53-46, 76-70, 94-94, 109-100

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno