ALASKA coach Alex Compton believes the Aces are ready to finish off GlobalPort in Game Five of their semifinals series in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup on Tuesday, even as he expects a tough fight from a team as talented as the Batang Pier.
“I hope we can,” Compton said when asked if he thinks Alaska can deliver the final blow to the semis stint of GlobalPort, which has lost three in a row after winning the series opener. “But I don’t underestimate them.”
“If we lose three games in a row, it would be an incredible feat by GlobalPort,” he pointed out moments after the Aces won Game Four on Sunday to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.
Compton noted Alaska’s defense as the major factor in the 109-84 Game Four victory, which held GlobalPort to just 42 percent shooting from the field (35-of-84) and limited the Batang Pier’s explosive duo of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle to a combined 15-of-39 clip from the floor.
The Aces also outrebounded the Batang Pier, 52-43, displayed better teamwork with 24 assists compared to 16 from GlobalPort, and had a whopping 75-36 advantage in bench scoring.
Compton hopes the Aces have another solid group effort in Game Five to help clinch the team's 29th championship appearance and third in the last four conferences.
“I hope our defense stays this way because if we play with this kind of energy, kahit sinong kalaban we have a chance,” said the Alaska coach. “We can lose, but that energy gives us a chance, yun ang sa akin.”
Meanwhile, Alaska's enigmatic forward Calvin Abueva likes his team's chances of closing out the series as he likened the Aces to a diesel engine, which takes time before heating up. Following the team’s stunning Game One loss, he believes they’re now finally getting the feel of the series after winning the last three outings.
“Lumalabas na yung laro pag galing na kayo sa mainit na sitwasyon,” said Abueva, who showed the way for Alaska in Game Four with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Game Five is set Tuesday, 7 p.m, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.