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2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

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Having already enjoyed a conference of breakthroughs, the Globalport Batang Pier look to continue their impressive surge in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Globalport were again led by the superstar backcourt tandem of Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo in the quarter-final stages, with the duo combining for 47.5 PPG, 15.5 RPG, and 7.5 APG to hand the team its first semi-finals appearance.

But the Batang Pier now face one of the best franchises in recent league history.

The Alaska Aces have been in the finals in two of the last three PBA conferences, and the team’s chemistry and continuity are about to take them again there.

As they have been doing exceptionally in the Alex Compton era, the Aces have once again built a solid reputation defensively. They are the league’s second-best defensive team, allowing only 95.4 points per 100 possessions. They also have the third-best net rating at +6.3.

But the main difference for Alaska this conference is pace. The Aces have the league’s highest pace at 99.6, a big jump from 88.9 during the 2014-15 Philippine Cup. This allows Alaska to run, have more shots early in the possession, and get more scoring opportunities. Alaska are also among the top teams in defensive rebounding and fastbreak points.

It is clear the Aces didn’t sign up for just the semi-finals, which will make this series a daunting assignment for the young Globalport franchise.

Four Things


1.) Playoff Romeo must showPhilippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

Romeo led the Batang Pier with 27.5 points/game in the quarter-finals, and also had 5 assists/game while hitting 5.5 three-pointers per match. Over a third of Globalport’s total production had been created by Romeo, and he has to continue making sound decisions on the floor. This is a big-time series, and he has to come up huge in terms of maturity and leadership.

2.) Brothers of DestructionPhilippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

Vic Manuel is on pace for a banner year, becoming one of the most reliable players in the low block. Manuel has shot 52.7 percent from the field and he leads the Aces in scoring with 16.4 PPG. Calvin Abueva meanwhile, continues to tear opposing defenses apart with his strength and speed rolled into one. Abueva has averaged 13.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 2.1 APG in only over 21 minutes a match.

3.) Stepping up for GlobalportPhilippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

After Pringle and Romeo, Jay Washington and Joseph Yeo are the Batang Pier’s next best offensive options. Washington has averaged 9.6 PPG and 7.2 RPG, and has at least a three-point conversion per game. Yeo norms 9.4 PPG. These two, along with Globalport’s bunch of wing men and big men, must do their respective roles so the Batang Pier will be able to play completely.

4.) Alaska’s balancePhilippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

No Aces member has played more than 26 minutes a game, with four Aces averaging in double-digit scoring. Five more are norming at least 6 points/game, giving Alaska great balance on both ends of the floor.

NEXT PAGE: X-Factors, Burning Question, Prognosis >>

 

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X-Factors


Alaska: Defending the initial penetrationsPhilippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

Alaska have a handful of excellent one-on-one defenders, and being able to contain the initial penetrations of Globalport’s playmakers will give them a chance to stymie the Batang Pier’s execution on offense. Pringle and Romeo are two of Globalport’s best shot-creators, and stopping them from operating makes a big difference.

Globalport: Joseph YeoPhilippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

When it becomes difficult for Pringle and Romeo, another shot-maker should step up. Joseph Yeo can hit the outside shot, drive, manufacture his own shot, and also involve his other teammates. If all three of them can be aggressive, then Alaska will have to do a better job defensively.

The Burning Question


Will Globalport be able to out-run, out-gun, and eventually out-play an ultra-strong Aces unit?

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport
On paper, Alaska are just too loaded, even if Globalport already have a retooled squad compared to their previous conferences. The Aces aren’t on top of the team standings for nothing, and if the Batang Pier want to succeed, they have to match the Aces’ intensity in each possession for the entire match. One bad stretch may cause Globalport the game right away.

Prognosis


Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup Semis Survival Kit: Alaska vs. Globalport

Photo by PBA Images

Alaska in 5.

While Globalport are very eager to add to their success this conference, the Aces are on another level. They are stacked from top to bottom and they have a handful of stoppers and scorers to get the job done on both ends of the floor. But it should be a good learning experience for the Batang Pier franchise moving forward.

Who do you think will win? Terrence Romeo and the Globalport Batang Pier or Calvin Abueva and the Alaska Aces? Sound-off in our comments section below

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