MANILA - (UPDATED) The Alaska Aces weathered the onslaught of Christian Standhardinger and Michael Qualls to bring down NorthPort, 106-99, for their third win the 2019 PBA Governors Cup, Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces were playing without veteran point guard Chris Banchero, who is on his way out of the team following a trade with the Magnolia Hotshots.
Despite Banchero's absence, Alaska still had enough to claim their third win of the conference against six losses. The victory allowed the Aces to stay in the playoff hunt.
It took a balanced effort for the Aces, with four players scoring in double-digits. Vic Manuel (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Frank House (23 points, 11 rebounds) both got double-doubles, while Abu Tratter just missed the mark with 17 points and 9 boards.
Jeron Teng added 13 markers for the Aces, who shot 44% from the field.
"This is one of those games that we talk about all the time. It's about being able to grind out a win," said Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso after the game. "Why this means a lot is because, down the stretch, there were always adjustments.
"I think what's nice about how the guys performed tonight, even though humahabol 'yung kalaban, they kept fighting," he added.
Wasted in the defeat were the double-doubles of Standhardinger (a career-high 37 points, 16 rebounds) and Qualls (35 points, 15 rebounds). No other NorthPort player reached double-digits, however.
Alaska tried to pull away in the third period, leading 68-54 with 6:19 left. But the Batang Pier steadily clawed their way back into the game, and trailed by just 7 points, 83-76, after Sean Anthony beat the buzzer to end the frame.
NorthPort got to within four points, 92-88, off a Standhardinger jumper with 5:47 to go, but Alaska responded with a 6-1 blast that kept them ahead. The Aces got a huge stop when Kevin Racal intercepted Anthony's pass, and completed the play on the other end for a layup that made it 101-92, with just 1:39 to play.
The Batang Pier made a last ditch effort, and Standhardinger's bucket trimmed the deficit to 3 points, 102-99, with still 27 ticks left. Manuel was steady at the line, however, allowing the Aces to hold on for the victory.
NorthPort saw its brief two-game winning streak come to an end. They dropped to 3-5 in the standings, just half a game ahead of Alaska for the 8th and final spot in the quarterfinals.
Alaska 106 - House 23, Manuel 23, Tratter 17, Teng 13, Enciso 8, Casio 7, Racal 6, Thoss 4, Ahanmisi 4, Pascual 1, Ayaay 0.
NorthPort 99 - Standhardinger 37, Qualls 35, Anthony 8, Lanete 8, Casio 7, King 5, Ferrer 3, Taha 2, Elorde 1, Cruz 0, Escoto 0.
Quarterscores: 28-29, 53-48, 83-76, 106-99.
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