MANILA -- Dangerous times for Alaska.
Needing to pracically play perfect basketball in order to save their conference, the Aces almost had a trap game Sunday against also-ran and winless Kia in the 2017 Governors' Cup.
Nevertheless, Alaska's clutchness prevailed and the Aces scored a crucial 102-94 win at the Big Dome for the team's third straight victory.
Down 10 in the fourth quarter, the Aces rallied behind the four-some of Calvin Abueva, JVee Casio, Ping Exciminiano, and import Buck Henton. The four combined to score 34 of Alaska's 35 points in the final period to complete the comeback.
Still tied at 94 with less than two minutes to go, Henton fired a booming triple as Alaska finally took over for good. Casio then added another bucket for good measure as the Aces sent the Picanto to their ninth straight loss this conference.
Following a 0-6 start, Alaska has climbed to 3-6 in the standings, still out of the playoff picture but the Aces now hava a chance.
"Calvin and Ping were phenomenal I thought today. JVee made a bunch of big shots and we needed some buckets, we were struggling for a while," head coach Alex Compton said.
"I hope that this is a character-building win for us. Talagang dumadaan kami sa sitwasyon na ayoko sana," he added.
Abueva finished with a team-high 26 points for Alaska on top of 15 rebounds. Henton dropped 20 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists while Casio also had 20, 12 coming in the fourth quartrer.
Exciminiano came off the bench and added 14 points of his own.
After a rather lackluster debut, Geron Johnson had a monster bounce back effort for Kia, pumping 39 points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists.
ALASKA 102 - Abueva 26, Henton 20, Casio 20, Exciminiano 14, Banchero 11, Thoss 4, Racal 3, Baclao 2, Cruz 2, Mendoza 0, Magat 0, Pascual 0, Galliguez 0, Enciso 0.
KIA 94 - Johnson 39, Paniamogan 12, Elorde 11, Yee 11, Khobuntin 10, Ballesteros 4, Celda 3, Jaime 2, Corpuz 2, Revilla 0, Camson 0, Salva 0.
Quarter scores: 23-27, 46-51, 67-77, 102-94
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.