PBA: NLEX completes sweep of Alaska, arranges semis duel with Magnolia


Posted at Mar 07 2018 09:41 PM | Updated as of Nov 06 2018 07:36 PM

Michael Miranda (No. 2) became an unlikely hero in NLEX's win over Alaska on Wednesday. PBA Media Bureau

(UDATED) Kevin Alas scored 18 points, including the game-deciding basket, as NLEX defeated Alaska 87-83 to complete a 2-0 sweep of their best-of-3 quarterfinals series in the Philippine Cup at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

NLEX next faces Magnolia in a best-of-7 semifinals. It is NLEX's first trip to the semifinals since it joined the league in 2014. (Editor's note: A previous version of this story mentioned it was a best-of-5 semifinals.)

"With this bunch of guys, at least we were able to get the farthest that we could get," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said.

"We will still push our luck (when) we're in the semifinals, who knows what could happen?" 

Ahead 83-80 with 3 minutes left in the game and riding the momentum of a 9-0 run, Alaska liked its chances of taking Game 2 and extending the series to a decider.

But NLEX got a boost from an unlikely source.

Forward Michael Miranda hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, then sank 2 free throws to put the Road Warriors ahead, 85-83.

After a missed 3-pointer by JVee Casio, Alas came up with the game-winner, a circus shot off a baseline drive that put NLEX ahead by 4 points with 1:14 remaining.

"We were hoping actually . . . We felt that with Kiefer (Ravena), with Kevin playing great basketball, with the combination of backcourt guards, we felt we had a chance (against Alaska)," Guiao said.

JR Quiñahan contributed 16 points for NLEX before fouling out, while Miranda finished with 12 points.

Ravena, coming off a spectacular Game 1, was held to 1-of-13 shooting from the field, but made 9-of-12 free throws to score 11 points. 

Calvin Abueva scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Alaska.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)