GLOBALPORT center Jay Washington has been in so many battles in the past, but none tougher against a rock-solid defensive team like the Alaska Aces.
Down 1-3 entering Game 5 of their best-of-seven set in the PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals, the 11-year PBA veteran Jay Washington sees the need for his Globalport teammates to play smarter basketball for them to make their first PBA Finals appearance since joining the league in 2012.
Throughout the season, Globalport has been known to rely on the high-scoring backcourt of Terrence Romeo and reigning Rookie of the Year Stanley Pringle. However, Jay Washington believes that the two are running low in a grind it out series against Alaska.
“It’s so hard to say that we’re relying on them [Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo] too much, but in a series like this where we are playing every other day, it’s hard for them to be efficient like that as a scorer. I mean, you can have off nights and you wouldn’t want to shoot every time back-to-back-to-back-to-back,” said Washington.
“They have carried us to this point. We’ve all had supporting roles, but I think we need to be smarter as a team and really rely on each other as a whole,” he added.
Entering the season, Globalport shored up its backcourt rotation by trading for former Barako Bull guard Joseph Yeo, then drafted Roi Sumang in the third round of the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft.
Additionally, they picked up the services of Rico Maierhofer to further bolster their frontline, in addition to the signing of Jay Washington to a one-year deal following the trade from Talk ‘N Text.
“We have a lot of guys who can get it done when given a chance. But it’s hard to make those adjustments now so deep into this point if you want guys to step up. Sometimes it’s hard to fill that role when you’re not used to doing it,” noted Washington.
“We’ve come a long way having two guys as our main gunners. But in a series like this, we have to do better finding better shots, having better possessions and moving the ball.”
Against the fierce defense and intensity of the Alaska, Jay Washington quipped that they need to play on a higher level in order to match up well against a perennial contender.
“We just have to execute better against a defensive team like Alaska. We have to make them move defensively, and we’re not making a good job of coming down with one person having the ball the whole possession and having one shot. It’s hard to win that way.”
Globalport is looking to extend the series following Game 5, which is set for a 7:00 pm (GMT+8) tipoff on Tuesday, January 12, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Photo credit: PBA Images