ALASKA refused to give GlobalPort any tomorrow as the Aces finished off the Batang Pier with a 118-89 romp on Tuesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to grab the first finals berth in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
The Aces clicked on both ends, turning to their unforgiving defense that translated into an outright transition offense to roll to the blowout victory against a Batang Pier side that was expected to come out better prepared in a do-or-die Game Five.
“I was afraid of us getting complacent…but our guys responded and sustained their intensity in the second half,” Aces coach Alex Compton said.
The finals appearance is the second straight for the Aces and third in the last four conferences. It’s also Alaska’s 29th finals stint overall and 10th in the all-Filipino conference as they look to end the longest no-import tournament title drought in the league spanning 15 years.
Ping Exciminiano rose to the occasion as the defense-first guard fired 19 points on top of five boards and three steals to lead eight Aces with at least nine points.
Chris Banchero added 18 markers, while Calvin Abeuva and Sonny Thoss chipped in 14 points piece, with the latter doing it after coming off a scoreless spell in Game Four.
After limiting the Batang Pier to just 17 points in the first quarter where they built a double-digit lead, the Aces let their opponents score eight points within the last minute of the second quarter that left Compton upset.
The Aces, though, regrouped and turned it up a notch in the second half as they maintained a sizeable cushion that ballooned to 29 points.
Jay Washington stepped up for GlobalPort, finishing with 26 points in 37 minutes, but was held to just two points in the payoff period.
Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle also contributed just 20 and 15 markers, respectively, but shot just 10-of-26 from the field combined for the Batang Pier, who hardly showed a fight and trailed all the way.
ALASKA 118 – Exciminiano 18, Banchero 18, Abueva 14, Thoss 14, Baguio 10, Manuel 10, Jazul 9, Menk 9, Hontiveros 6, Casio 5, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 2, Baclao 0, Dela Rosa 0
GLOBALPORT 89 – Washington 26, Romeo 20, Pringle 15, Sumang 9, Isip 6, Yeo 6, Jensen 3, Kramer 2, Maierhofer 2, Pena 0, Semerad 0
Quarterscores: 27-17, 60-51, 87-73, 118-89
WATCH: Alaska coach Alex Compton's post-game interviewPosted by SPIN.ph on Tuesday, January 12, 2016