Calvin Abueva, Alaska keep title hopes alive with Game 5 win over Rain or Shine.
Facing elimination for the second straight game, the Alaska Aces kept their flickering championship hopes alive after taking Game 5, 86-78, and cut Rain or Shine’s Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals lead down to 3-2 on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Calvin Abueva led the way with 20 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. He scored half of those in the fourth quarter, which his Aces won, 30-21.
FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS GAME 5
Import Rob Dozier added 14 points and eight rebounds while also finishing with three steals and three blocks. Dondon Hontiveros came up with 12 big points – including three three-pointers – from off the bench while RJ Jazul and Cyrus Baguio both finished in double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Alaska started out on an 11-2 run with Baguio, Jazul and Kevin Racal knocking down shots from the outside.
But it didn’t take long before Rain or Shine countered with a big run of their own, with Jeff Chan nailing a three-pointer and Gabe Norwood dunking in transition to spark a 13-0 blast. Pierre Henderson-Niles capped it with a basket in the post to give the team a 17-13 lead.
The Elasto Painters led 19-15 after the opening period.
Chan hit all three of his shots in the first and continued to damage in the second, scoring on a drive to the hoop and a nice cut down the baseline for a three-point play. That helped Rain or Shine keep Alaska at bay, 34-31.
The Aces scored six unanswered points on a Noy Baclao a midrange jumper, a Racal layup and two free throws from Jazul but the Elasto Painters closed out the half with a 6-0 run of their own after Jewel Ponferada scored on an and-one and, after a Chan split, Jericho Cruz made a great backdoor cut to finish the half, 40-37.
Chan had 13 points in the first half while Paul Lee had seven. No one on the Alaska side had more than six.
The Aces went down by seven points in the third quarter but made a nice rally to reclaim the lead.
Game 5 Best Player- Calvin Abueva Full Highlights
They took advantage of a deliberate foul called on Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga as Abueva took care of two free throws and Jazul hit a three-pointer on the extra possession. Jazul would split from the stripe while Baguio scored on an and-one to make it an 8-0 run.
Despite Alaska momentarily taking the lead, Rain or Shine led, 57-56, heading into the final period.
Hontiveros opened the fourth with a triple and Alaska maintained its lead as they exchanged baskets up until the 6:34 mark when Lee tied the game with a three-pointer, 69-all.
The Aces then made a crucial run, rattling off seven unanswered points. Hontiveros started it with a three-point play before Abueva made a wild drive for a bank shot finish. Jazul then fished Belga’s sixth and final foul and knocked down to free throws, making it 76-69 in Alaska’s favour.
The Elasto Painters weren’t ready to roll over just yet as JR Quinahan sank a midrange jumper and Lee made a strong move to the hoop, 76-73.
Jazul hit two more from the stripe while Dozier laid it in while drawing a foul, though he could not make the extra free throw.
After triple from Quinahan, Abueva sealed it with two big baskets. He received a nice drop pass from Jazul on the baseline for an easy layup down low before making a tough double-clutch floater that made it an eight-point game with 1:14 left to play.
The final score result:
ALASKA 86 – Abueva 20, Dozier 14, Jazul 13, Hontiveros 12, Baguio 11, Banchero 6, Racal 5, Baclao 2, Thoss 2, Dela Rosa 1.
RAIN OR SHINE 78 – Chan 17, Lee 16, Quinahan 9, Cruz 8, Ponferada 8, Henderson Niles 6, Norwood 5, Belga 4, Almazan 2, Ibanes 2, Ahanmisi 1, Tiu 0.
Quarters: 15-19, 37-40, 56-57, 86-78