PBA: Manuel hits the winner as Aces spoil Balkman's return
Paul Lintag on May 19, 2018 07:24 PM
Vic Manuel FTW.
Five years later, Renaldo Balkman still can't beat Alaska.
The Aces spoiled Balkman's return to the league as Vic Manuel scored a runner to beat San Miguel at the buzzer, 105-103, Saturday in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Down by as many as 22 in Dumaguete City, the defending champion Beermen slowly clawed back, eventually forcing a 103-all tie.
However, import Antonio Campbell forced a turnover on Balkman with less than 20 seconds to go, giving Alaska a chance to win.
Manuel, who is having a breakout conference for the Aces so far, came through.
The Muscle Man finished with a team-high 23 points, guiding Alaska (4-1) to a fourth straight win and a share of first place in thd standings.
Four others scored in double figures for the Aces with Jvee Casio finishing with 18 while Chris Banchero got 15. Campbell and Calvin Abueva added 13 points each.
Alaska was on a roll heading into this game and dominated right from the start.
But San Miguel would storm back with Balkman at the lead. The Beermen though, would ultimately come up short and the champs are now buried in a 0-3 hole in their title defense.
Balkman scored 32 points and had 13 rebounds in his first PBA game after five years. Top rookie Christian Standhardinger also continued to up his production, this time scoring 22 points.
Marcio Lassiter added another 20 for San Miguel in the loss.
Alaska (105) - Manuel 23, Casio 18, Banchero 15, Campbell 13, Abueva 13, Racal 7, Magat 5, Thoss 4, Exciminiano 3, Enciso 2, Teng 2, Baclao 0, Pascual 0.
San Miguel (103) - Balkman 32, Standhardinger 22, Lassiter 20, Santos 12, Fajardo 7, Lanete 6, Cabagnot 4, Ross
Quarters: 28-20, 57-43, 81-72, 105-103.
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