ALASKA survived a gritty endgame charge by GlobalPort to pull off an 87-84 win in their PBA Philippine Cup road game on Saturday at the Xavier University gym in Cagayan de Oro City.
Calvin Abueva bounced back from a lethargic foul-plagued first half, knocking down 17 of his 19 points in the second half which was marked by an exchange of baskets and taunts with Terrence Romeo.
The former NCAA MVP capped his performance with a difficult bank shot off Keith Jensen that gave Alaska an 85-75 cushion heading to the final minutes of the match.
However, the Batang Pier were far from done, closing within 84-87 behind a 7-0 run ignited by an Alex Cabagnot three-pointer and capped by two free throws by rookie sensation Stanley Pringle.
Alaska never scored again, but played good defense when it had to.
Thrice, GlobalPort had possession with a chance to score in the endgame. But Alaska forced Terrence Romeo to miss a three-pointer and Yancy de Ocampo to a pair of hurried jumpers.
The Aces simply ran out the clock from there to get back on track after a shock loss to Barako Bull and regain solo leadership in the single-round eliminations with their seventh win in eight games.
Romeo led GlobalPort with 26 points, a solid follow-up to his 30-point explosion last Wednesday in the team’s 105-97 win over Talk ‘N Text.
However, the high-scoring guard couldn't save the Batang Pier from falling to sixth spot with their 4-4 record.