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Alaska blow out GlobalPort, tie series in physical contest

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This time around, Alaska made sure to take care of business against the playoff neophytes.

Succumbing their first encounter against a team who made their first entry to the semis, the Alaska Aces responded with a huge 100-76 win over the GlobalPort Batang Pier, to tie the series after two games, held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday evening.

Picking up where he left off was Terrence Romeo, who anchored his team once again in a fast start of the match. Romeo had already entered double-digit scoring less than five minutes into the game, hitting ten to give GlobalPort a 12-5 lead.

After Alaska managed to rally back through their second unit, the game broke loose, with emotions running high for both teams with under a minute to play in the first. The extra-curricular action started with an off-ball clash between Dondon Hontiveros and Anthony Semerad. Their respective teammates, afterwards, shoved at each other while trying to help the two guards. Things looked out of control with the coaching staff, game officials, and even PBA board (including Commissioner Chito Narvasa) joining the fray.

After cooler heads prevailed, and after a momentary halt to the action, 13 technical fouls – eight for Alaska, five for GlobalPort. were called, resulting in three free throws by Joseph Yeo. At the end, the first, eventful quarter was tied at 18.

The joust of the first quarter favored the Aces, who exploded in a 17-5 run to open the second frame through multiple transition baskets by their frontcourt. Jay Washington and Terrence Romeo, on the other end of the floor, knocked down perimeter shots to help Batang Pier create their own 10-2 counter run.

GlobalPort put up a stretch of points that turned the momentum in their favor towards the latter part of the first half. Two threes gave the Batang Pier a slim lead, but these were answered by Sonny Thoss. Free throws by RJ Jazul gave the Aces a three-point edge at the break.

Alaska opened the new half with only Sonny Thoss from their starting five. This continued their energetic running game, enabling them to blast an 11-4 start to the third, capped by a triple by Jazul that gave Alaska their first double-digit spread at 58-48.

GlobalPort committed seven turnovers during the third quarter that slowed down their offensive game. Batang Pier scored 16 quiet points during the canto, as Alaska led by 15 heading into the final period of action.

GlobalPort rallied and got five team fouls from the Aces with 7:42 left in regulation. Pringle led the charge in a 7-0 start, but this was countered by Abueva and Jazul favoring the Aces.

However, the experienced Alaska team stood tall down the stretch, as Sonny Thoss and Cyrus Baguio added to the big baskets to blow the game wide open. With still less than four minutes to go, the Batang Pier pulled out their main guns as Alaska went on to cruise and tie the series at one game apiece.

Alaska had 64 points from their non-starters in a balanced-scoring affair. The technical foul fest produced 16 calls, which tied the PBA record for most in a game. Alaska also dominated the boards, 56-44, in addition to more points in the paint, 46-24.

Banchero led the Aces with 18 points on 8/13 shooting, five rebounds, and a steal. After the game, he summed up how he felt about the team’s resurgence, and hoped to continue on this kind of play going forward.

“It’s a very intense game. We can expect it since it’s the semifinals. I’m glad everybody showed up even though it’s crazy (after first quarter scuffle). We showed composure but it’s still gonna be tough. We have to continue to contain Stanley and Terrence,” the second-year Ace said.

Pringle and Romeo combined for 42 points, but were not enough to surprise the Aces this game.

Game Three of this series will be played on Friday, 7:00pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:
Alaska (100) – Banchero 18, Jazul 17, Casio 13, Abueva 11, Thoss 10, Baguio 8, Dela Rosa 7, Manuel 6, Exciminiano 4, Hontiveros 3, Baclao 2, Menk 1, Dela Cruz 0.
GlobalPort (76) – Pringle 22, Romeo 20, Yeo 11, Washington 10, Semerad 5, Mamaril 2, Maierhofer 2, Hayes 2, Jensen 1, Kramer 0, Pena 0, Sumang 0.
Quarterscores: 18-18, 47-44, 75-60, 100-76.

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