PBA: Semis-bound Alaska takes care of business against Magnolia
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 10, 2018 09:35 PM
Yet again, Vic Manuel was an unsolvable riddle for Magnolia (FILE PHOTO)
Vic Manuel and Alaska were not letting their twice-to-beat advantage in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals go to waste.
Firing eight of his 22 points in what proved to be the pivotal push, Manuel towed the Aces past Magnolia, 89-78, on Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The frontrunner for the Best Player of the Conference made good on 10-of-20 attempts from the field and also hauled in eight rebounds to make sure the second-seed after the eliminations did not have to go through a do-or-die matchup for a semifinals spot.
Alaska’s lead was just at four points at the midway mark of the third quarter until Manuel and reinforcement Diamon Simpson connived for a 17-5 run that established a 78-62 advantage heading into the final frame.
Mark Barroca then led the fightback for the Hotshots as they closed to within 78-82 inside the last four minutes only to see Manuel score four points in a 7-0 answer that re-increased the Aces’ edge to 11.
Still with 66 ticks to go on the clock, Magnolia would not be able to score the rest of the way.
Diamon Simpson posted a 13-point, 15-rebound double-double for Alaska which will now await the winner between between San Miguel and TNT. The Beermen lead that best-of-three series, 1-0.
Back in the elims, the Aces also rode Manuel to a big-time win over the Hotshots. Doing the same thing again this time around, they did not have to make use of their twice-to-beat advantage.
On the other hand, Magnolia’s campaign in the conference has come to a close in the quarterfinals. Wayne Chism fronted their effort with 20 points and 15 rebounds while Ian Sangalang chipped in 14 markers and six boards.
ALASKA 89 – Manuel 22, Banchero 14, Simpson 13, Thoss 11, Racal 10, Exciminiano 7, Enciso 4, Cruz 3, Casio 2, Teng 2, Baclao 1
MAGNOLIA 78 – Chism 20, Sangalang 14, Barroca 9, Lee 8, Jalalon 8, Simon 6, Ramos 6, dela Rosa 5, Brondial 2, Herndon 2, Reavis 0, Melton 0
QUARTER SCORES: 26-21, 46-43, 78-62, 89-78
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.