CUBAO, PHILIPPINES – ALASKA put on a balanced display on both offensive and defensive ends of the floor to end the Cinderella run of Globalport in Game 5, 118-89, and clinch their second straight PBA Philippine Cup finals appearance on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces led by double digits through most of the contest – save for an 8-0 run midway through the second quarter that cut their deficit to just two, 36-38 – which set up their runaway win against the upstart Batang Pier.
Leading the way was Ping Exciminiano, who put up a career-high 19 points on eight-for-11 shooting with four rebounds. Chris Banchero added 18 points, while Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss contributed 14 apiece for Alaska.
Alaska is trying to end a long 16-year All-Filipino championship drought after entering the Philippine Cup finals appearance for the 10th time – its 29th overall in franchise history. They now await the winner of the San Miguel versus Rain Or Shine series, which may end as early as January 15 and set the finals series opener on January 17.
Alaska Head Coach Alex Compton said that his players got beat in loose ball situations in the first half, but managed to fire up his players to bring out the energy from his players in the second half that put the game out of reach.
“I was upset at them during the halftime…but they responded with a great, great deal of energy in the second half and they sustained it. We got beat on 50/50 balls in the first half, but I don’t think we did in the second half. I appreciated the effort,” said Compton.
Jay Washington played his best game for Globalport in the series with 26 points and seven rebounds in 37 minutes, while Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle recorded 20 and 15 points, respectively, in the loss.
ALASKA 118: Exciminiano 19, Banchero 18, Thoss 14, Abueva 14, Baguio 10, Manuel 10, Jazul 9, Menk 9, Hontiveros 6, Casio 5, Eman 2, dela Cruz 2, Baclao 0, dela Rosa 0
GLOBALPORT 89: Washington 26, Romeo 20, Pringle 15, Sumang 9, Yeo 6, Isip 6, Jensen 3, Kramer 2, Maierhofer 2, Pena 0, Semerad 0, Hayes 0
Quarters: 27-17, 60-51, 87-73, 118-89