Semis: SLR 83, Aces 87

On: 26 January 2009

PBA's 34th Season

Willie Miller scored 22 points and the Alaska Aces clamped down on defense in the fourth quarter to defeat the Sta. Lucia Realtors 87-83 to enter the championship series in the KFC Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Trailing 69-63 after three quarters, the Aces outscored the Realtors 24-14 to end the defending champions’ reign in a 4-2 semifinal victory.

Reynel Hugnatan came off the bench to score 19 points on nine-of-11 shooting from the foul line to go with a game-high 12 rebounds.

LA Tenorio was the only other Alaska starter who was in double figures with 14 points as the Aces bucked a strong showing by Sta. Lucia’s frontline.

The Aces are returning to the All-Filipino finals for the first time since 2000 when they defeated Purefoods in five games to win the championship.

This will be the Alaska franchise’s fourth finals trip in the tournament. The Aces will take on the Talk N Text Tropang Texters in a best-of-seven matchup. The Texters defeated the San Miguel Beermen 116-115 in overtime to also take their series in six games.

Dennis Espino led the way for the Realtors with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Reigning MVP Kelly Williams had 16 and nine, while Nelbert Omolon chipped in 16 and 10 for Sta. Lucia which got at the wrong end of a payback from the same team it ousted in the same stage last year.

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