Aces rein in Hotshots, reduce deficit to 1-2

Nelson Beltran - The Philippine Star
Aces rein in Hotshots, reduce deficit to 1-2
Alaska Aces’ Chris Banchero dribbles around Rafi Reavis of Magnolia Hotshots in Game 3 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
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ANTIPOLO, Philippines — Alaska Milk finally brandished again its form as the playoff top seed – its defensive spunk, offensive sock, passion, emotion and all – as the Aces bludgeoned the Magnolia Hotshots, 100-71, in Game Three of the PBA Governors Cup Finals at the Ynares Sports Center here last night.

Mike Harris was back in his dominant self and the whole Alaska team recalled its cohesion and tremendous drive as the Aces stopped the Hotshots to narrow down their deficit to 1-2 in the best-of-seven titular series.

Blown away 84-100 in Game One then coming up short, 71-77, in Game Two, the Aces worked harder and pushed harder as promised as they won Game Three in murderous fashion.

Alaska actually dealt Magnolia its worst defeat in PBA finals. And the Aces have a chance to pull even in Game Four back at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.

“I think we had a great defensive effort and amazing shots. The overall story of the game was that we made a bunch of shots in the first three quarters. We didn’t commit many turnovers and we played defense with great intensity,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.

Harris exploded for 36 points that went with 18 rebounds while Vic Manuel, Simon Enciso and Carl Bryan Cruz added double-digit outputs for the Aces who tore apart the Hotshots in the first three quarters and reduced the final period to a showdown among reserves.

With a torrid offense and a defense that gave them a huge advantage on points off turnovers, the Aces handed the Hotshots their worst loss in finals or their most lopsided defeat since being beaten by 28 also by Alaska in Game Five of the 1997 Governors Cup title playoff.

“If you would ask me to choose winning by this score or being up 2-1, of course I’d choose being 2-1 up. I’m glad that we won, but we’re still down at this point,” said Compton.

Meanwhile, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero gave credit to Alaska for its energy and effort, but expressed disappointment on Compton seemingly getting the attention of the referees.

“Hiningi nya yung attention ng referees after Game Two at nakuha niya. I’m now also asking the attention of the refs pero what I just want is consistency. Kung ano ang itawag nila sa kabila, yun din ang itawag nila sa amin,” said Victolero.

The scores:??

ALASKA 100 – Harris 36, Manuel 14, Enciso 12, Cruz 10, Banchero 6, J. Pascual 4, Teng 4, Galliguez 4, Casio 4, Andrada 2, Baclao 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0, Magat 0, Potts 0.??

MAGNOLIA 71 – Travis 18, Barroca 13, Herndon 7, Sangalang 7, Mendoza 6, Dela Rosa 5, Abundo 4, Reavis 3, Lee 2, Ramos 2, Melton 2, Jalalon 2, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0, Brondial 0, K. Pascual 0.??

Quarterscores: 16-22, 50-36, 83-50, 100-71

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