By Jay R. Gotera
MANILA — The Alaska Aces banked on the heroics of Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel to beat the Star Hotshots, 97-90, in overtime in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night.
Manuel posted a team-high 25 points and eight rebounds while Abueva finished with 23 points, nine boards and four steals. Abueva nailed a huge three-pointer that gave Alaska an 86-83 lead with 2:26 left in regulation.
But Star’s Allein Maliksi countered with a triple of his own to tie and send the game into overtime.
Abueva continued his spectacular plays in the overtime period, scoring five of the first seven of Alaska’s points en route to victory.
Alaska trailed at the half but outscored Star, 32-19, in the third quarter to grab the lead. However, the Hotshots went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 83-all late in the fourth quarter.
The Aces improved to a 4-3 win-loss mark, tying GlobalPort and TNT at third to fifth place in the standings.
The Hotshots dropped to 3-4 for a share of eighth to ninth place with Barangay Ginebra.
Mahindra 105, Meralco 92
The Mahindra Floodbuster nailed a franchise-record 21 three-pointers en route to a stunning 105-92 victory over the Meralco Bolts.
Unheralded Philip Paniamogan sizzled all night long, firing a career-high 25 points, including seven triples, to lead the Floodbuster to only their second win in seven games. Paniamogan, an undrafted sophomore guard, scored all his points in the last three quarters and missed just two of his nine three-point attempts in just 20 minutes of action.
Mahindra’s new top gunner Alex Mallari added 13 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds. Four other Floodbuster scored in double digits: Jason Deutchman and Nico Salva finished with 13 points while Michael Digregorio and Russel Escoto added 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
The victory was a fitting follow-up to Mahindra’s victory over Blackwater on the league’s last play date for 2016 last month.
Meralco suffered a fifth straight loss as it replaced Mahindra at the bottom of the 12-team standings at 2-6.
Reynel Hugnatan led the Bolts with 28 points, six boards, and one block in a losing effort. Chris Newsome added 19 markers while Baser Amer chipped in 12.
Games Friday: NLEX Road Warriors (2-5) vs. GlobalPort Batang Pier (4-3) and San Miguel Beermen (7-1) vs. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (5-2).