With a pivotal win on the line, Chris Banchero had to play through injury to help Alaska pull ahead of Meralco their thrilling 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series.
Banchero pulled his groin during the first quarter Game 3 and the rough-riding point guard wasn’t going to stop for anything else, helping the Aces get the 104-102 victor that puts them at 2-1.
“I pulled my groin just a bit in the first quarter when I made a spin move so it was early and I just played through it,” said Banchero Thursday at Cuneta Astrodome. “A groin injury is a little tough but I’ll be alright.”
“The game was intense, again, these games have been really fun to watch. It’s playoff basketball, it’s exciting.”
It has been a thrilling matchup between Alaska and Meralco and the Aces took the win by the skin of their teeth.
It took a gutsy hustle three-point play from Mike Harris to put the Aces up 103-100 with 16.1 seconds remaining but still wasn’t the most nerve-wracking moment of the night.
Alaska was holding on to a 104-102 lead with less than 10 seconds remaining when the Bolts raced down the floor in an attempt to send the match to overtime but Allen Durham missed his transition free throw.
Durham’s miss led to several missed tip-in attempts that ultimately led to an open Anjo Caram jumper, but that likewise missed the rim altogether allowing the Aces to hold on to the victory.
“This game was intense, expect Saturday [Game 4] to be the same,” said the banged-up Banchero who wound up with 17 points and six rebounds.
Banchero, who is expected to play in Game 4, said that with the long and arduous PBA season, players are likely to get injured at one point.
“The PBA has a long season and we don’t really get any breaks,” said Banchero. “I’ve been playing a lot of basketball, you check the schedule we’ve been playing all year round, non stop. You’re bound to catch an injury here and there with so much basketball.”
“But you know, it’s okay, you just play through it.”
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