The Alaska Aces grabbed a share of the top spot through a come-from-behind 101-95 victory over the Barako Bull Energy in an elimination round game of the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Saturday.
Barako plunged into action aggressively, establishing a 22-point lead over the Aces in the first half of the game. A determined Alaska squad returned to the court in the third period pulling off an 18-2 scoring run that allowed them to reduce the gap, 72-78, heading into the fourth quarter.
JV Casio’s back-to-back clutch three pointers strengthened Alaska’s momentum. The Aces out¬scored their opponents 29-17 in the final period. They established their biggest lead, nine points, in the final three minutes of the game en route to victory.
Alaska import Romeo Travis led the team with 23 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, a block and two steals. Alaska outscored Barako in bench scoring 61 to 23 through the prowess of Chris Banchero, who contributed 20 points and seven rebounds.
The 7-foot-2 Canadian Barako import had an excellent performance despite the loss with 26 points, 14 rebounds, three steals, and a blocked shot. Joseph Yeo bounced back from his abysmal scoreless game when they last battled the Kia Carnival, posting 18 points and six assists.
Alaska is now sharing the top spot with the San Miguel Beermen that are also carrying a record of seven wins and two losses. Barako Bull falls to number three with a 6-3 win-loss record. Barako will next play against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team on Wednesday, while the Aces will go against the Beermen on Saturday.