Alaska unleashed a furious rally in the fourth period as the Aces edged NorthPort, 95-85, in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces stepped on the gas pedal in the final minutes and propelled a 14-to-nothing run that turned a 75-78 deficit into a breakaway.
Mike Harris capped the run with three straight points, 89-78, with under two and the Aces were never in any danger of losing the lead from there.
The Aces secured a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals as they wrapped up the elimination round with an 8-3 win-loss tally.
Their placing, though, will depend on the results of the other upcoming matches.
Harris led Alaska with 27 points and 25 rebounds to go with five assists. Chris Banchero had 15 markers, three boards, and five dimes.
Rookie Jeron Teng finished with 13 points, Manuel scored 12, while JVee Casio chipped in 11 including a three-pointer that sparked the telling run with 5:13 remaining.
"At halftime (team owner) Fred (Uytengsu) came in and talked to the team. It was short, it was powerful, and the guys responded," said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
NorthPort, meanwhile, lost its spark in the crucial minutes and ended its season-ending conference on a losing note despite a huge game from import Rashad Woods.
Woods wound up with 33 points and 13 rebounds, but shot 0-of-10 from the three-point area. Stanley Pringle and Mo Tautuaa chimed in 15 and 13 markers, respectively.
Alaska 95 - Harris 27, Banchero 15, Teng 13, Manuel 12, Casio 11, Racal 9, Baclao 6, Enciso 2, Thoss 0, Exciminiano 0, Galliguez 0.
NorthPort 85 - Woods 33, Pringle 15, Tautuaa 13, Anthony 10, Elorde 4, Grey 4, Arana 2, Guinto 2, Gabayni 2, Espinas 0, Fortuna 0, Javelona 0.
Quarterscores: 24-15, 41-47, 64-62, 95-85.
- NorthPort outscored Alaska in the second period, 32-17, to wrap up the first half with a 47-41 lead.
- The Batang Pier were a dismal 1-of-21 from the three-point area. Only Pringle made a field goal from that range.