(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. -- Blackwater vs. Rain or Shine
7 p.m. -- NLEX vs Star Hotshots
ALASKA pulled off a spectacular endgame performance and turned back a gritty Globalport squad with a 95-84 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Aces notched their first-ever win in the season-opening conference and improved to a 1-2 win-loss record while dealing the Batang Pier their first loss for a 2-1 card.
Calvin Abueva made his presence felt last night, finishing with a team-high 22 points to lead the impressive comeback of Alaska in the endgame.
Not to be outdone, JV Casio and Vic Manuel also had big games last night, finishing with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
The win which came at the heels of back-to-back losses, did not come easy for the Aces who had to wipe out a huge 16-point deficit in the third quarter and survive the dynamic and hot-shooting Globalport tandem of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle.
Alaska coach Alex Compton knew that they were up against one of the best backcourt duos in the league and heaved a sigh of relief after the win.
“Terrence (Romeo) and Stanley (Pringle) combination is the most dangerous,” said Compton after the game. “”It’s great to have all the guys back. JP Mendoza was great. Told the guys di talaga tayo dapat masyadong gigil dito,” added Compton.
Romeo finished with 26 points while Pringle chipped in 23 for Globalport, which fell into a six-way tie for the lead with Rain or Shine, Blackwater, Phoenix, Talk ‘N Text and defending champion San Miguel in the kickoff conference.
The Batang Pier appeared headed for a big blowout when they posted a 61-45 lead early in the third behind the guns of Romeo.
The Batang Pier’s offensive though hit the snag in the face of the Aces’ defense in the fourth quarter. By the time the game reached its last three minutes, the Aces were already enjoying an 87-82 lead, thanks to Casio and Abueva.
The Batang Pier could not seem to pull away despite Stanley Pringle’s splendid stint that netted him 15 points in the first half.
Even ironic was the measly five-point advantage by Globalport at halftime (40-35) considering the Batang Pier had much better marksmanship with 46% as compared to the 33% of the Aces.
Alaska (95) -- Abueva 22, Casio 15, Manuel 10, Jazul 9, Mendoza 9, Dela Cruz 6, Hontiveros 6, Cruz 6, Exciminiano 5, Racal 3, Banchero 2, Magat 2.
Globalport (84) -- Romeo 26, Pringle 23, Quinahan 15, Semerad 8, Canaleta 3, Pennisi 3, Aban 2, Maierhofer 2, Paredes 2, Cortez 0, Dehesa 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarterscores: 21-20, 35-40, 62-65, 95-84.