The Alaska Aces routed the GlobalPort Batang Pier 118-89 closing out the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 best-of-seven semifinals on Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum. The series ended 4-1 in favor of the Aces, which earned their 29th overall finals appearance in the league and their 10th in the Philippine Cup.
Chris Exciminiano posted a career-high 19 points, Chris Banchero had 18, Calvin Abueva 14, Sonny Thoss 14, Cyrus Baguio 10, Vic Manuel 10 while Eric Menk and RJ Jazul contributed nine points apiece for Alaska.
“I thought we did a lot of good things in the first half,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. “I was afraid of us getting complacent. We got on 50/50 balls in the first half and being able to win in the finals are two different things. It’s not because you’re playing at a high level you’ll win.”
“I really think they’re both excellent teams. I do like the defensive energy we have in this series. I hope we win four games instead of three. For me, it’s always about our character and our effort we put in the floor,” Compton added.
Jay Washington led GlobalPort with 26 points and seven rebounds.
The Aces played cautiously in the early part of Game 5 even though they were enjoying a 3-1 advantage in the series. Alaska established a 27-17 lead by the end of first quarter after overcoming an early resistance by GlobalPort.
They sustained their aggression in the second period to notch 60-51 lead at half-time. Alaska controlled the entire second half as GlobalPort struggled to recover from a huge deficit.
Alaska will face the winner of the other semifinals battle between reigning champion San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine.
The Aces posted more rebounds (55-42) and assists (25-19) than the Batang Pier.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is asking for consistency in officiating after losing to San Miguel Beer in Game 4 (92-105) to the Elasto Painters.
San Miguel Beer’s victory even the series 2-2.
Guiao said that the referees had missed a lot of foul calls against San Miguel Beer that cost them the game. Rain or Shine got 26 fouls against the Beermen’s 24.
“Paul [Lee] was fouled out from this game. There are at least two fouls that should not be called. Beau [Belga] was pushed then he was the one called for the foul. We can’t play physical but they can play physical on us.”
“We really did not have a chance in this ballgame especially if that’s the kind of calls you are going to receive and it is getting worse. I was hoping it will get better but apparently it did not. They came to practice and explained everything to us.”
The Elasto Painters and the Beermen will clash in Game 5 at 7 p.m. tonight to break the tie.
“It’s a best of three now. I guess we will make the adjustments in practice. They hit early threes on us. We also did not get the breaks from the refs. Anyway, it’s even, let’s see what happens. It is still a good series. We know we can beat them but we need to get a good breaks,” added Guiao.