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    PBA: Alaska survives Meralco, ties series 1-1

    MANILA, Philippines – The Alaska Aces assured their fans of game 4 after edging the Meralco Bolts, 100-95 in Game 2 of their best-of-five PBA Governors’ Cup Semis series on November 13, 2018 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    All eyes are on the Meralco Bolts after beating the Alaska Aces in their series opener. Aside from beating the Aces in game 1, the Bolts have won 7 games in-a-row that includes an upset victory against powerhouse San Miguel Beermen.

    Mike Harris’ 37 points and 19 boards helped Alaska tied the series 1-1
    Mike Harris’ 37 points and 19 boards helped Alaska tied the series 1-1 vs. Meralco | Photo Credit: pba.ph

    For Coach Norman Black and the rest of his team, 7 victories is totally meaningless if they will not win the elusive title.

    But before the Bolts can get to their ultimate goal, they must first pass a hurdle: team Alaska led by NBA D-League veteran and scoring machine, Mike Harris.

    1st Quarter somehow went well for the Alaska Aces as they put themselves slightly on top of the Meralco Bolts, 23-21 after the first 12 minutes of the game.

    Mike Harris led all players offensively in the 2nd period together with Simon Enciso. For the Bolts, Allen Durham remained silent and the reason why they were behind Alaska. Nico Salva however, tried his best to keep the score close. Salva had 10 with over 8 minutes left in the half.

    The Bolts, through the waxing hot hands of Reynel Hugnatan and KG Canaleta attempted to catch up with the Aces and they actually did. It was just, the tandem of Harris and Enciso was too strong for them so the lead was maintained by Alaska in the dying minutes of the second.

    Harris’ 15 and Enciso’s 13 gave Alaska its biggest 7-point, 47-40 lead in the first 2 quarters.

    The Aces doubled their lead up in the 3rd quarter and it looked like that Simon Enciso had a terrific night as he topped all scorers with 19 and with 6 more minutes left in the period.

    Alaska escalated its lead to 20 before the 2-minute warning of the 3rd period. But Meralco locals’ resiliency cut the margin to 14 so it’s more manageable entering the final canto.

    74-60, still in favor of Alaska at the end of the penultimate quarter.

    Coach Alex Compton knew his team was in trouble early in the fourth as Meralco finally brought their lead down to a single-digit.

    Nico Salva really became instrumental in Bolts’ rally as the former Blue Eagle jotted down 20 points while Allen Durham finally found his groove and put himself into double-figure as well.

    At exactly 2 minutes, Aces’ lead had gone down to just 2 after Baser Amer hit an open triple followed by a dunk from Allen Durham.

    Alaska still had a 2-point lead with 23 seconds left. Anjo Caram was forced to foul JV Casio and the former Green Archer sank both his free throws to make it a two-possession ballgame.

    Chris Newsome made a three-pointer to cut Alaska’s advantage to just 1. After that, Casio had another trip to the foul line with the same result.

    Meralco had 7 seconds to tie the game. Baser Amer took the shot from the outside but missed. Simon Enciso placed the icing on the cake for the 100-95 victory and leveled the series 1-1.

    Game 3 will be on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

    — Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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