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Alaska begins life sans Abueva with hard-fought win against Meralco

Mike Harris buried the dagger trey for the Aces. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--With no Calvin Abueva around, Alaska lacked the energy it needs to pull away early against Meralco on Friday night.

All it took was a hot third quarter and a huge basket from its import.

The Aces pulled off a second half turnaround to hold off the Bolts, 80-72, in the PBA Governors' Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Following a dismal first half, Alaska dropped a 28-10 third quarter on Meralco to turn a 33-40 halftime deficit to a 61-50 lead entering the final canto. Alaska would even extend the lead to 15, 75-60, with 5:19 to play.

The Bolts threatened to come back, dropping a 10-0 run that cut the lead down to five, 75-70, with a minute and a half to play.

But Mike Harris saved the day for the Aces with a dagger triple with the shotclock winding down and only 23 seconds to play in the game clock.

Harris' clutch trey capped a 23-point performance along with 15 rebounds, three assists, and one steal for Alaska.

Chris Banchero added 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

Vic Manuel, who went on fire in the Commissioner's Cup, had a slow start to his Governors' Cup campaign, only making 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting and five rebounds off the bench.

Allen Durham made 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and one steal for Meralco.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno