Alaska enters PBA quarterfinals after beating NLEX in "battle for 6th"


By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Alaska clinched the seventh seat in the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals after downing NLEX, 100-85, in an important preliminary match-up at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.

The Aces used a 16-2 run late in the second quarter of the game that determined the sixth seed in the playoffs to open a double-digit lead that they held for most of the remainder of the match.

The Road Warriors would still come to as close as five, 70-75, in the fourth quarter, but an 8-0 run helped the Aces rebuild the huge gap and never looked back.

LaDontae Henton led Alaska with 27 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and three blocks, while RJ Jazul had his best performance of the season-ending conference with 14 points, four rebounds, six assists, and three steals.

Henry Walker tallied 29 markers, 10 rebounds, three assists, and a steal for NLEX, which clinched a playoff seat following a computation of quotients by some media outfits including Dugout Philippines but will now have to wait for the result of the Rain Or Shine-Star match later Friday for its final seeding. A win by ROS will give NLEX the seventh seed, while the opposite of it will drop NLEX to the eighth seed.

The said result also means ROS needs to win twice to enter the quarterfinals, but the team first needs to beat Star to force a showdown with Phoenix for the eighth seed.

Both the Aces and the Road Warriors will also need to wait for the results of the San Miguel Beermen-Blackwater Elite and the Barangay Ginebra-TNT KaTropa games on Sunday to determine their quarterfinal opponents. The Beermen, the Barangay, and the KaTropa all have a twice-to-beat advantage each in the playoffs.

Box Scores:

Alaska 100-Henton 27, Jazul 14, Manuel 13, Thoss 10, Abueva 10, , Casio 7, Racal 6, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 3, Hontiveros 3, Baclao 2, Dela Rosa 2, Magat 0, Dela Cruz 0, Galliguez 0

NLEX 85-Walker 29, Taulava 14, Anthony 11, Khobuntin 10, E. Villanueva 9, J. Villanueva 4, Akl 3, Arboleda 3, Baracael 2, Alas 0, Camson 0, Monfort 0, Reyes 0, Soyud 0, Lanete 0

Quarterscores: 24-19, 52-37, 75-64, 100-85

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