The Alaska Aces drilled another win after spoiling Meralco Bolts in a nack-to-nack game, 94-93, in the PBA Season 46 Governors’ Cup yesterday at the Ynares Center.

/ 27 February 2022

Rk Ilagan became the hero of the day for the Aces as he marked the last two points with his crossover move then fade away for the buzzer-beater shot.

“That’s the shot RK works on in practices every day so I didn’t have a problem with him taking that shot. I knew he going to be able to put up a shot around the free-throw line area, if not a little higher,” said Coach Jeff Cariaso.

“RK’s always preparing, making himself ready for games like this so it was easy to trust him. He’s a kid with a chip on his shoulder, he wasn’t drafted high, a lot of teams passed up on him. He proves every day why he deserves to be in the PBA.” 

Aside from Rk who saved the day, Olu Ashoulu and Mike DiGregorio boosted the roster’s firepower with 21 points apiece.

Meralco did not give up even after falling short at the end of the third quarter with a 12 point deficit, 81-69, and closed the gap in the last quarter.

Allein Maliksi rushed and marked a quick 10 point set to offset the team’s disadvantage in the last quarter and tied the score to 83.

But that was not enough to bring the Aces down as they easily erased that tie score thanks to the two-consecutive shots coming from Ilagan.

Two seconds left and Meralco was in a 2 point advantage situation, yet Ilagan forced the ball into the ring and capped the win to the Aces.

“He’s really earned the trust,” said coach Cariaso.

The scores

Alaska 94 – Ashaolu 21, DiGregorio 21, Teng 12, Ilagan 11, Tratter 9, Taha 7, Racal 7, Bulanadi 4, Faundo 2, Stockton 0, Ahanmisi 0

Meralco 93 – Maliksi 32, Bishop 18, Almazan 12, Newsome 9, Quinto 7, Banchero 6, Black 5, Hodge 4, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0, Baclao 0

Quarters: 23-19; 52-47; 81-69; 94-93