Bolts advance to semis after taking out Alaska

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Meralco Bolts escaped the upset axe of the Alaska Aces, hacking out a 94-84 win in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals at the Big Dome Sunday.

Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Bolts raised the playoff curtains with a strong first-quarter performance before fending off Alaska’s fightback in the second half.

As a result, the second-seeded Meralco will be heading into the next round, while it sent the seventh seed Aces to an early exit.

Allen Durham flirted with a triple-double, scoring 28 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and dishing out eight assists to make his fourth consecutive semifinals stint with the Bolts.

The Bolts’ once 22-point lead was trimmed to just 58-61, as the Aces went on a 25-12 scoring spree in the third canto in their attempt to stay alive in the series.

Up by just 82-77 with over five minutes left, Meralco then came through with a 13-0 rally to gain enough separation as Durham and Allein Maliksi applied the finishing touches.

Maliksi added 23 points while going 4-of-8 from beyond the three-point arc and knocking down key baskets in a fourth-quarter run for the Bolts.

Jvee Casio paced Alaska with 20 points, Simon Enciso had 11, while Frank House held to just 11 points in 5-of-11 field goal shooting and nine rebounds.

The scores:

MERALCO 94 – Durham 28, Maliksi 23, Newsome 17, Almazan 8, Amer 6, Faundo 4, Caram 4, Hodge 2, Quinto 2, Pinto 0.

ALASKA 84 – Casio 20, Enciso 16, House 11, Manuel 9, Tratter 7, Herndon 5, Ayaay 5, Thoss 4, Racal 3, Galliguez 0, Brondial 0.

Quarter scores: 29-12, 49-33, 73-63, 94-84.