The Alaska Aces notched their first victory after beating the GlobalPort Batang Pier 95-84 in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 41 Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Wednesday.
With GlobalPort enjoying a 16-point lead in the two-minute mark of the third quarter, Alaska’s Chris Exciminiano hit a three-pointer reducing the gap, 50-63.
The Aces then unleashed a 12-2 run via Tony dela Cruz’s free throws, Chris Banchero’s put back, Marion Magat’s basket, Dondon Hontiveros’ and RJ Jazul’s treys to cut Globalport’s lead to three, 62-65.
Jazul scored another three-pointer to tie the score at 67-all with 10:01 minutes left in the match. But the Batang Pier pulled away again with an 8-0 run through the combined effort of Stanley Pringle, Terrence Romeo, Michael Pennisi, and JR Quiñahan, 67-75.
Abueva hit back-to-back treys to keep GlobalPort at bay with 4:57 minutes left, 77-78. JVee Casio sank a mid-range jumper to snatch the lead, 79-78.
Casio scored another basket from the arc, while Pringle picked up Aaron Aban’s miss with 37.1 seconds left. Exciminiano sank both his free throws with Romeo drawing the penalty foul, 93-84.
“I told Calvin (Abueva) and Vic (Manuel), I know that you’re excited to play but we all have to be careful, pass the ball, move the ball, pass the ball. And it wasn’t Calvin and Vic; it was every single player who wants it and I felt almost we just took quick bad shots. And later obviously, the press is back into the game so we started moving the ball and I’d like to appreciate Calvin for following my instructions exactly when I didn’t call a play, he poured it in from three at the top of the key,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
Abueva top scored for Alaska with a double-double outing of 22 points and 11 rebounds. Casio and Vic Manuel combined for 25 markers.
Romeo and Pringle led GlobalPort with 26 and 23 points, respectively, while Quiñahan added 15 more markers.
Compton also pointed out that Terrence Romeo and Pringle are dangerous in the court. “I thought defensively in the first half actually—we were solid. We had some breakdowns, we’re giving some shots but the Terrence-Stanley combination 1-2 is the most dangerous run twin.”
The Alaska Aces currently hold a 1-2 win-loss record, while the GlobalPort Batang Pier carry a 2-1 card.