Willie Miller scored on a drive through three defenders with six-tenths left on the clock to power the Alaska Aces back from a 10-point deficit with a nail-biting 83-81 win over the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados Saturday night in the KFC-PBA Fiesta Conference at the Xavier University gym in Cagayan de Oro City.
The play on Miller was actually a 3-point play with Derby Ace import Lorenzo Wade committing the foul, but the referees first had to review the tape for a couple of minutes before counting the 2-point basket.
Miller, a 2-time MVP winner, intentionally missed the free throw, giving Derby Ace no more time for a decent shot before the final buzzer.
The Aces lived on in the last 3:43 of play minus Simpson, upending the Llamados before a good weekend crowd at the Xavier University Gym.
It was Alaska’s first win in four appearances in Cagayan de Oro City in the last 10 years.
With the win, the Aces tied the Llamados at sixth place on their identical 2-2 win-loss cards.
The Llamados suffered a second consecutive loss after nine successive wins in the season as they blew away a 10-point spread at the start of the final quarter, limited to two points in the last two minutes of the contest.
Still, they had a chance to win the game, but Wade missed a jumper with the count tied at 81-all with time down to 4.5 seconds.
Getting the inbound in their make-or-break play, Miller waited for the right moment and right opening to attack the basket.
Though tagged by Wade, Miller was able to make a layup at the buzzer.
Diamon Simpson led Alaska with 24 points before fouling out in the game with 3:43 left in the contest.
Miller finished with 20 points while Sonny Thoss and Tony dela Cruz contributed 12 and 10 markers respectively for the Aces.
Wade led the Llamados with 24 points while Rico Maierhofer added 15. James Yap continued to have a poor shooting performance as he was held down to just 10
Alaska 83 – Simpson 24, Miller 20, Thoss 12, Dela Cruz 10, Tenorio 9, Fonacier 5, De Vance 2, Eman 0.
B-Meg Derby Ace 81 – Wade 24, Maierhofer 15, Yap J. 10, Yap R. 9, Canaleta 9, Allado 5, Artadi 4, Simon 3, Pingris 2, Reavis 0.
Quarterscores: 28-26, 40-44, 54-64, 83-81