Alaska one win away from another Finals appearance

Naveen Ganglani

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Alaska one win away from another Finals appearance
The Aces dominate from start to finish, leading the entire ball game

MANILA, Philippines – The Alaska Aces went up 2-1 using physical and gritty defense. In Game 4, they showed the GlobalPort Batang Pier they can be just as lethal on the offensive end as well.

Leading from start to finish, the Aces dominated the Batang Pier, 109-84, on Sunday, January 10, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum and now stand a win away from making the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

Game 5 is on Tuesday, January 12. If Alaska wins that, it will be the second straight Philippine Cup finals they make and their third PBA Finals appearance in the last 4 conferences.

“I don’t think it’s any secret. I’m blessed to coach the guys I get to coach,” Aces head coach Alex Compton said after his team went up 3-1 – a series lead only 3 out of 45 teams in PBA history have come back from.

“There’s no way we’re guaranteed to win,” Compton said, unwilling to concede that the series is already in his team’s hands. “I hope our defense stays this way.”

On Sunday, it was Alaska’s offense that delivered the marbles. The Aces shot 49% from the field, including 12-of-25 (48%) from downtown. 

Alaska had 8 guys score at least 8 points, led by the 20 points plus 13 boards of Calvin Abueva. Dondon Hontiveros and RJ Jazul posted a combined 30 points and 7 3-pointers.

On the other end, only 3 guys scored in double-figures for GlobalPort. Terrence Romeo led his team with 24 points on 21 shots, while Stanley Pringle posted 16 points on 18 shots. Jay Washington helped out with 12 points and 8 boards.

“Nobody on our team is stopping them one on one,” Compton said about Romeo and Pringle, before later adding: “it doesn’t change how explosive they are one bit. It just means we have 5 guys really committed to covering ground.”

“I hope we can,” he said about closing out the series on Tuesday, which would give the franchise a 29th finals appearance. “I don’t underestimate them. If you look some of the shots that they’re missing are shots they can make.”

Alaska raced off to a 15-6 lead early and increased its edge to 32-20 after one quarter. 

The closest GlobalPort got after was within 7, 56-49, early in the third period following a 9-2 run capped off by a Pringle 3-point play. But Alaska responded with a 10-5 run, powered by a combined 3 triples by Cyrus Baguio and Jazul, to extend the lead back up to 66-54. 

It was a no contest the rest of the way.

The Batang Pier shot just 42% from the field and only 24% from 3-point range. Their bench was also thoroughly dominated by the Aces’, 75-36.


Alaska (109): Abueva 20, Hontiveros 16, Jazul 14, Banchero 10, Dela Rosa 9, Baguio 8, Casio 8, Eximiniano 7, Baclao 4, Menk 3, Dela Cruz 2, Thoss 0.

GlobalPort (84): Romeo 24, Pringle 16, Washington 12, Yeo 8, Isip 6, Sumang 6, Kramer 4 Jensen 2, Maierhofer 2, Pena 2, Semerad 2, Hayes 0, Mamaril 0, Uyloan 0.

Quarter scores: 32-20; 54-40; 82-62; 109-84. –


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