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Alaska holds off Meralco for solo 4th

Chris Banchero helped seal the Aces' win at the clutch. PBA Images

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Alaska reclaimed solo fourth place in the PBA Commissioner's Cup after pipping Meralco, 93-89, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Sunday night.

The Aces survived a late push from the Bolts to break out of a 3-2 tie.

Alaska threatened to pull away in the third quarter, opening a 68-55 lead with 2:37 remaining in the said period.

However, Meralco slowly came back and was just within one, 87-88, with 1:45 left in the final canto.

Chris Banchero eventually doused cold water on the Bolts's late stand with a wide-open layup and a steal that led to Simon Enciso's dagger lay-in.

Meralco actually had one last shot after Gani Lawal made a bank shot in the next play only that Nico Salva missed a left corner triple that could have tied the game up before Enciso made another free throw for the final tally.

Banchero finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and one steal for Alaska, which moved up to 4-2.

Vic Manuel added 17 points, six rebounds, and two steals off the bench in his best game so far since returning from injury bay.

Lawal had 27 markers, 26 boards, one dime, one block, and two steals for Meralco, which slid to 3-3.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno