Alaska keeps 'Last Dance' alive, sends QF battle vs. NLEX to sudden death

Mark Saint Fort made sure his first game as an Ace will not be the Alaska franchise's last in the PBA. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Down big early on, many PBA fans thought they have finally seen the last of the Alaska Aces in the PBA.

But Alaska flipped the switch right after, and its chance to bid goodbye to the league as champion continues.

The Aces lived to fight another day, turning a comeback bid into a 93-79 blowout against the NLEX Road Warriors at the start of the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Alaska turned the tides in the final three quarters to extend its playoff series against NLEX--and its "Last Dance--to a rubber match on Saturday night.

The Road Warriors surged ahead at the start of the game, opening a 26-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

But the Aces responded with a 28-12 second quarter to take a 40-38 halftime lead, and the team pulled away from there.

Despite a sluggish outing, new import Mark Saint Fort led Alaska with 17 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

Jeron Teng added 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists, while Abu Tratter finished with 12 markers, 10 boards, and one swipe.

Cameron Clark had a decent start to his own PBA career with 25 points and 16 rebounds to lead NLEX.

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