The Petron Blaze Boosters found a way to close out a resilient Alaska Aces team that just wouldn’t go away to win, 107-92, Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum and raise its record to 3-1 in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Eddie Basden finished with 29 points, alongside five assists and four steals, while four locals scored in double-digits as Petron bounced back from a tough loss to rival Talk ‘N Text in their previous assignment.
The Boosters were in control for most of the game, but just couldn’t put away the Aces, who had an answer every time Petron threatened to pull away.
Petron looked primed to take a huge 18-point advantage into the fourth quarter after a jumper from Basden gave them a 78-60 lead.
But Aces guard LA Tenorio heaved a long three from beyond the halfcourt line that somehow found the bottom of the net right before the buzzer.
Alaska then opened the fourth quarter with seven straight points to cut the lead down to just 11.
But Petron Blaze, living up to its name, pushed the pace in transition en route to a quick 10-0 run. Dorian Pena and Chris Lutz easily scored back-to-back buckets on similar 4-on-2 breaks while Danny Ildefonso sandwiched another Lutz score between a jumper and a hard drive to the hole.
After Cyrus Baguio ended the drought for Alaska, the Boosters looked like they would finally put things away when Arwind Santos blocked a layup attempt by Gabby Espinas on the break and the team found Basden alone on the other end for a thrilling monster jam that put them up 90-69 with just 6:53 to play.
With the game seemingly in hand, Basden would take a seat on the bench, and was shown chatting with teammate Axel Doruelo right before Santos hit a three to give the Boosters a seemingly insurmountable 98-76 lead late in the game.
But thoughts of calling it an early night would vanish when the Aces, behind Espinas and import Jason Forte, cut a 99-78 lead with 3:02 remaining to just 11 in a span of just 50 seconds.
Basden would come back and score four straight points, including another uncontested dunk with 1:09 left, to restore order and end any hopes of an Alaska comeback.
Petron got plenty of production from all over their deep rotation. Their reserves scored 42 points in the win.
Lutz scored 14 points, Santos added 13 while Ildefonso and Jay Washington scored 12 apiece for the Boosters. Three other players – Joseph Yeo, Denok Miranda and Dorian Pena – scored seven each.
Alaska big men Espinas and Sonny Thoss scored 18 each to lead the Aces, while Tenorio added 17.
Forte was held down to just 16 points, but grabbed 15 boards for Alaska.
Petron (107) – Basden 29, Lutz 14, Santos 13, Ildefonso 12, Washington 12, Miranda 7, Pena 7, Yeo 7, Doruelo 2, Lanete 2, Baclao 0, Reyes 0.
Alaska (94) – Espinas 18, Thoss 18, Tenorio 17, Baguio 16, Forte 16, Baracael 5, Custodio 2, Jazul 2, Dela Cruz 0, Eman 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 47-39, 78-63, 107-94.
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