#PBA2015 Philippine Cup Finals Roundup: January 7, 2015

The Alaska Aces rallied from as many as 22 points down to beat the San Miguel Beermen in overtime in Game 1 of the 2014-2015 Philippine Cup Finals.

Rookie Chris Banchero sparked a furious fightback for the Aces, who pulled the rug from under the Beermen in Game 1.

Game Recaps (adapted from Rey Joble/InterAKTV):

Box Scores.
The Alaska Aces found themselves buried in a 27-5 hole in the first quarter, but they found a way to come back and defeat San Miguel in overtime, 88-82, in Game One of the PBA Philippine Cup finals on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Calvin Abueva led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while rookie Chris Banchero came up big with 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in his first finals appearance.

The Aces looked out of sorts as the mighty Beermen, who swept their semifinal opponent Talk ‘N Text in four games, dominated the opening period, taking a 22-point lead.

But Alaska slowly but surely turned things around before running away from San Miguel in the extra period.

The Alaska guards came up big in overtime.

Banchero opened scoring with a layup and JV Casio and Dondon Hontiveros knocked down back-to-back three-pointers as the Aces opened with the extra period on a 9-2 run that propelled them to the win. Hontiveros added 15 points and Casio 13 in the Aces’ big comeback win.

Alaska’s defense went to work in this one, forcing 26 SMB turnovers (7 alone from Arwind Santos), while the Aces’ aggressiveness on the offensive end yielded 26 free throw attempts compared to just 18 for the Beermen. 

The league’s last two MVPs — June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos — didn’t do too well offensively, combining to shoot just 9/23 from the field. Curiously enough, SMB didn’t go to Fajardo all that much. The Kraken only attempted 9 field goals despite playing more than 47 minutes.

Former national team member Chris Lutz led San Miguel in scoring with 24 points on 10/18 FG shooting, but he also committed some endgame blunders that led to the loss.

Line of the Game: June Mar Fajardo - 14pts, 17rebs, 2asts, 2blks.

Calvin Abueva dropped another monster game to further reinforce his chances to be the BPC.

Chris Lutz led SMB with 24 points, but he also had some miscues in the end.

Reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo was limited in terms of scoring in this game.

Images by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports5.

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