ALASKA recommitted to doing what it does best as it overwhelmed GlobalPort, 100-76, to equalize their Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series at one game apiece on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Stunned after a 107-93 loss in the opener of the best-of-seven series, the Aces responded to the challenge, leaning on a second-half surge to score the resounding victory in a Game Two that heated up early.
The series shifts to Game Three on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Chris Banchero led five Aces who scored in double digits with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting on top of five boards.
“Defense and energy,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “Mr. Hyde showed up in Game One and Dr. Jekyll in Game Two. It was a concerted effort on defense.”
The defense was most evident on Terrence Romeo, who was held to just 20 points on 19 attempts in 35 minutes after exploding for a career-high 41 markers in the opener.
The Batang Pier star actually produced just two points in the second half after firing 18 in the first half, including 10 points in the first five minutes of the game.
In all, the Aces limited the Batang Pier to just 35-percent (27-of-77) shooting from the field.
Stanley Pringle did regain his form, tallying a team-high 22 points on 52.9 percent shooting, but found little help from the rest of the squad.
Jay Washington chipped in 10 points and six boards, but was ejected late in the third quarter after picking up a second technical foul.
Alaska 100 - Banchero 18, Jazul 17, Casio 13, Abueva 11, Thoss 10, Baguio 8, Dela Rosa 7, Manuel 6, Exciminiano 4, Hontiveros 3, Baclao 2, Menk 1, Dela Cruz 0.
GlobalPort 76 - Pringle 22, Romeo 20, Yeo 11, Washington 10, Semerad 5, Hayes 2, Maierhofer 2, Mamaril 2, Jensen 1, Uyloan 1, Isip 0, Kramer 0, Pena 0, Sumang 0.
Quarterscores: 18-18, 47-44, 75-60, 100-76