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Alaska depth too much for GlobalPort in wire-to-wire win



In a battle of two top squads in the 2015-16 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup, the Alaska Aces proved that they are in a class above the GlobalPort Batang Pier.

Alex Compton’s squad displayed great ball movement and hounding defense to coast through the Batang Pier in a 123-104 wire-to-wire victory early Friday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Alaska Aces got off to a strong start as the Alaska defense limited the potent GlopalBort offense to just four points in the first five minutes of the game for an early 11-4 lead. Even after bringing in gunslinging guard Terrence Romeo to the game, the Alaska frontline of Sonny Thoss, Calvin Abueva, and Vic Manuel overpowered their Batang Pier counterparts. Veteran Cyrus Baguio poured it on to extend the Alaska lead to 21-8 midway through the opening quarter. Romeo and Pringle closed out the quarter with a run of their own, including two conversions from three-point country by Romeo, to cut the Alaska lead to nine, 34-25, to close out the opening salvo.

Recent GlobalPort acquisition Rico Maierhoffer started the second quarter aggressively on the offensive end, but he was quickly answered by a triple by Tony Dela Cruz that extended the Alaska lead to 12 once more, 44-32, five minutes into the quarter. Alaska’s grinding defense continued to be the story into the quarter as the Green and Black could not put spark runs. On the other end, Cyrus Baguio was firing all cylinders to increase the Alaska lead to 58-42 with a minute and 28 remaining until halftime. Romeo then went on an 8-2 run, including two booming three-pointers, to go into the break still down by ten, 60-50.

Globalport were only able to limit the hot-shooting of Alaska in the first five minutes of the second half to just seven points while scoring a plus-five on the other end. Romeo, Joseph Yeo, and Billy Mamaril were all able to contribute in the rally with Romeo scoring five straight points to close the gap to six, 67-61. But just as Pido Jarencio’s squad were about to close in further, the Aces intensified their pressing defense to force the Batang Pier to turnovers. Vic Manuel and Cyrus Baguio continued to punish the porous GlobalPort defense to extend the lead to 16 points, 94-78, to end the third canto.

Pido Jarencio and his troops simply had no answer for the defense and ball-movement of the Alaska Aces in the final frame. Even having brought in a combination of Romeo, Yeo, and rookie guard Roi Sumang to start the quarter, the Batang Pier only shot bricks from their forced jumpshots. In contrast, Calvin Abueva, RJ Jazul, and grizzled veteran Eric Menk were converting on their shots to extend the lead to a 21 points, 112-91, after a conversion by a Manuel jumpshot with 4:03 remaining. A booming three-pointer by Jazul extended the lead to a game-high 22 points, 121-99, with 1:20 left before settling for a 123-104 win to move Alaska to solo first in the standings.

The Aces had an outstanding eight players score in double-digits, with Cyrus Baguio’s 17 leading the way. Baguio shot 50% from the field that included two triples. Vic Manuel also continued his strong Philippine Cup campaign in putting up 16 markers and grabbing eight boards. RJ Jazul, Sonny Thoss, and Chris Banchero added 14 points each in the high-scoring affair.

Terrence Romeo’s 33 points on a 41% clip led the way for GlobalPort. He was able to knock down seven threes in the game and dish out five assists in 34 minutes of action. Stanley Pringle added 16 points while workhorse Doug Kramer was able to notch a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards.

As a team, Alaska shot an excellent 51% from the field compared just 40% from GlobalPort. The victors pouded their way in the paint for 62 inside points. Moreover, the Aces out-rebounded their opponents 57-49 that led to 23 second chance points.

The Alaska Aces (5-1) will next face the Star Hotshots on Tuesday, November 24 at the night’s main game to be held at the Smart Araneta Colisuem. On the other hand, the now 4-2 GlobalPort Batang Pier face crowd-darlings, the Barangay Ginebra Kings, the next day at 7:00pm also to be held at the Smart Araneta Colisuem.

The Scores:
Alaska (123) – Baguio 17, Manuel 16, Thoss 14, Banchero 14, Jazul 14, Menk 12, Abueva 11, Casio 10, Dela Rosa 4, Baclao 4, Hontiveros 4, Dela Cruz 3, Exciminiano 0, Racal 0.
GlobalPort (104) – Romeo 33, Pringle 16, Mamaril 13, Kramer 11, Maierhofer 10, Uyloan 6, Washington 6, Yeo 5, Sumang 2, Jensen 2, Taha 0, Pena 0, Semerad 0, Paniamongan 0.
Quarterscores: 34-25, 60-50, 94-78, 123-104.