Vic Manuel slipped past his defenders and knocked in the game-winning shot at the buzzer as Alaska Milk added to SMB’s woes, pulling off a 105-103 cliffhanger in their PBA Petron Blaze road showdown at the Lamberto Macias Sports Center here Saturday night.
The Aces gained a piece of the lead with the TNT KaTropa Texters and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 4-1 while dropping the Beermen to 0-3.
The Alaska locals made a proud stand early on with import Antonio Campbell sitting out most of the first half due to three early fouls.
They took the half at 57-43 and led by as many as 22 in the third period before weathering an SMB fourth-quarter storm led by returning import Renaldo Balkman and Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger.
The Aces teetered on the brink of losing the game, but a defensive gem by Campbell on Balkman at endgame opened the opportunity for Manuel to save the game at the buzzer.
Manuel finished with a team-high 23 points that went with five rebounds in another sterling job off the bench.
JV Casio chipped in 18 markers, Chris Banchero contributed 15 while Campbell and Calvin Abueva added 13 apiece.
Balkman marked his PBA comeback with 32 points on top of 13 rebounds while Standhardinger and Marcio Lassiter turned in 22 and 20 points, respectively, for the Beermen.
Gaining possession with the count tied at 103 and with 19.2 ticks to go, the Aces worked the clock first before going to Manuel who drove in between the defenses of Arwind Santos and Standhardinger to score the winning shot.