Alaska Blast Stands Meralco for 2-1 semis lead Commissioner’s Cup 2016

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HIGHLIGHTS & REPLAY CLICK HERE ____________________________________

HIGHLIGHTS & REPLAY CLICK HERE ____________________________________

With their dreaded pressing defense working again, the Alaska Milk Aces clipped the Meralco Bolts, 92-72, and gained the pivotal 2-1 lead in their side of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup Final Four faceoff at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night.
Pressing all night and running a transition play at every opportunity, the Aces ran the Bolts to the ground and thus moved into the doorstep of a third straight PBA Finals.
Coach Alex Compton and his troops can wrap up the series either in Game Four Monday or in a deciding Game Five Wednesday.
Rob Dozier and Calvin Abueva produced double-double numbers while Cris Banchero contributed a personal conference high of 16 points laced by 3-of-3 three-pointers as the Aces foiled the Bolts’ bid for a follow-up on their 92-87 win in Game Two.
Dozier outperformed Arinze Onuaku with 25 points and 14 rebounds with Abueva also emerging as a lead light for Alaska in the game with 23 markers and 12 boards.
Defensively, the Aces pulled off a solid job together to hold the Bolts to their lowest output in the conference.
“In Game Two, we played defense for 39 minutes. We played defense for 48 minutes in Game Three,” said Compton.
“I know we made our shots. Chris Banchero had a career best three-pointers, Rob Dozier made his shots, and that’s great. But it’s really our defense,” Compton added.
With key surges in the middle quarters, the Aces seized control, 66-54, going into the payoff period.
Dozier, Banchero and Abueva hit a good rhythm in the third period, sustaining Alaska’s initial salvo in the second quarter.
The Aces erased a 10-point deficit, 15-25, and spurted ahead before the halftime break as they kept Onuaku away from the basket in the second period.
Alaska outrebounded Meralco, 20-9, and enjoyed a crucial 12-0 advantage on second-chance points in that quarter.
The Bolts tied the count at the half, 38-all, as Onuaku grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a putback with two seconds left in the clock.
But Alaska came out firing in the final half and dominated in the final quarter.

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