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Late run pushes SMB legends past Alaska greats in exhibition clash

Allan Caidic went full "Triggerman" mode in the final frame. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY — The San Miguel Beermen bounced back from a sluggish first half and came alive in the second half to repulse the Alaska Aces, 96-83, in the Return of the Rivals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The former stars of SMB prevailed over those of Alaska in the battle pitting franchises that completed a grand slam in the Philippine Basketball Association.

After a close start, the Aces stifled the Beermen early in the second quarter, starting the period with a 14-3 run to open a 34-24 advantage.

Alaska eventually held on to a 40-32 lead by halftime and appeared to be still keeping the sizable lead at the early goings of the third period.

SMB, however, came alive later in the third through a 7-0 run that trimmed the lead to just two, 51-49, before eventually taking the lead, 62-59, at the end of the period.

The game remained tight in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, and a 78-all was even forced.

But the Beermen pulled away for good with a 13-1 run through booming triples from Allan Caidic and Olsen Racela.

Caidic fired 26 points, 16 coming in the pivotal fourth period, on six triples and one assist en route to Best Player honors. He received PHP25,000 in the process.

Current Laguna Hero Denok Miranda added 17 points on 8-of-12 field goals with four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Danny Ildefonso chipped in a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds with three assists.

Willie Miller collected 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Alaska.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 96 - Caidic 26, Miranda 17, Ildefonso 14, Hontiveros 11, Belasco 7, Alvarez 6, Racela 5, Agustin 4, Calaguio 3, Gamboa 2, Paras 1, Asaytono 0, Reyes 0, Abuda 0, Teng 0

Alaska 83 - Miller 20, Abarrientos 11, Santos 9, Dela Cruz 8, Caraiso 7, Laure 6, Duremdes 5, Juinio 5, Lastimosa 4, Ferriols 4, Gomez 2, Hawkins 2, Sotto 0, Adornado 0

Quarterscores: 20-21, 32-40, 62-59, 96-83

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno