Alaska sustained its strong start to pull-off a 109-84 rout of GlobalPort on Sunday and grab a two-game edge in their best-of-seven semifinals of Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Forward Calvin Abueva sizzled with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the field plus 13 rebounds and three assists to lead the Aces, while veteran Dondon Hontiveros posted 16 points including three triples and guard RJ Jazul contributed 14 points.
“I can’t ask for anything more,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. “I thought the guys responded real well. Nobody can stop Pringle and Romeo one on one. We need a lot guys to defend them. It makes me proud to coach this team with their team effort.”
“I hope we can finish it in Game 5 but we don’t under estimate them.”
Chris Banchero and Rome Dela Rosa came off the bench with 10 and nine points, respectively, for the Aces.
Terrence Romeo led GlobalPort with 24 points.
Alaska zoomed to 32-20 advantage at the end of first period and then sustained its impressive defense and fast break offense to stretch the lead at halftime 54-40. The Aces didn’t look back and were never threatened the rest of second half after taking a 20-point cushion (82-62) at the end of third quarter.
The Aces stayed hot even in the fourth period, extending their advantage to more than 20 to seal a 3-1 lead in the series. Alaska could wrap the series on Tuesday if it wins on Tuesday in Game 5 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Meanwhile, undermanned Rain or Shine will try to secure a 3-1 lead over reigning champion San Miguel Beer on Monday in Game 4 of their best-of-seven semifinals series at the Araneta Coliseum at 7 p.m.
After losing the opening game (105-109) last week, the Elasto Painters made sure there would be no fourth quarter meltdown in the next two games over the Beermen, whom they defeated in Game 2 (105-97) and Game 3 (111-106) to grab a 2-1 advantage in the series.
But Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga, JR Quinahan and Jewel Ponferada need to double their effort against San Miguel Beer’s solid frontline of two-time Most Valuable Player 6’10 June Mar Fajardo who posted 40 points and 20 rebounds in Game 3 last Saturday. The Painters will play without 6’7” Raymond Almazan who suffered a sprained ankle during their practice, while flamboyant guard Jericho Cruz will also miss Game 4 after injuring his knee, where he collided accidentally with San Miguel Beer’s Marcio Lassiter with only five seconds left in the game.
“No operation needed for Jericho Cruz, but he is not playable tomorrow (Monday),” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao told The Manila Times. “Very hard win for us in Game 3, we had to pay a big cost to win that game. We hope we can extend series long enough.”
Guard Paul Lee, who returned during Game 1 of semifinals last week from a knee injury, will step up in the absence of Cruz along with rookies Don Trollano, Josan Nimes and Maverick Ahanmisi, Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan and Chris Tiu, among others.
Besides Fajardo, San Miguel Beer will rely on Arwind Santos, Gabe Espinas, Lassiter, Chris Lutz, Alex Cabagnot and Jay-R Reyes, among others.
The Beermen of coach Leo Austria will try to tie the series to 2-2.