MANILA –Alaska fought back late in the fourth quarter to turn back Rain or Shine, 94-89, in the final game of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round at the Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday night.
The Aces came back from a late seven-point deficit to secure the second seed in the quarterfinals, giving them a twice-to-beat advantage over seventh-seeded Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the quarterfinals.
ROS went on a 7-0 run to put the team up, 86-79, midway through the final period.
But Alaska answered with an 8-0 rally to give the club an 87-86 advantage.
Jeff Chan reclaimed the lead for the Elasto Painters with a corner triple, but the Aces finished it off with another 7-0 blast as their foes went sloppy in the end.
However, it may have come at a price as forward Jaypee Mendoza had a bad fall after grabbing a crucial rebound at the dying moments of the game.
Mendoza, after getting the loose ball off a missed triple by Chan, fell on his back, while Jericho Cruz accidentally hit his head, making him groggy, forcing the medical team around the arena to stretcher him out of the court.
Jvee Casio led Alaska with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting with five rebounds, one assist, and one steal, while Vic Manuel added a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds with two assists.
James Yap and Gabe Norwood each tallied 16 markers for ROS, which was relegated to a knockout showdown with Blackwater on Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City for the right to face top-seeded San Miguel in the quarterfinals.
The said result also means third-ranked Star, which won, 124-87, to Mahindra earlier Wednesday, will play sixth-placed Phoenix in a best-of-three series. It also locked in the 4-versus-5 series between TNT and GlobalPort.
Alaska 94-Casio 25, Thoss 13, Manuel 13, Jazul 12, Mendoza 8, Exciminiano 6, Racal 5, Hontiveros 5, Abueva 4, Galliguez 2, Cruz 1, Pascual 0
Rain or Shine 89-Norwood 16, Yap 16, Cruz 12, Chan 10, Tiu 9, Washington 8, Belga 6, Ponferada 6, Ahanmisi 4, Trollano 2, Matias 0
Quarterscores: 17-19, 43-45, 66-71, 94-89