ANTIPLO – Calvin Abueva insisted it was Alaska’s defense that proved to be a bigger factor than offense in its 133-106 victory over GlobalPort in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night.
The defense-oriented Aces were on target all-game long to end up scoring a league season high and their most points as a team in over two decades, or since March 1992 in a 137-120 over Presto.
But Abueva said trying to limit the Batang Pier backcourt duo of Terrence Romeo and Stanley was also a key in the win.
“Sa GlobalPort, 'yun lang talagang dalawa ang i-stop mo eh,” said Abueva, who often shadowed Pringle. “Kung hindi iiskor yung mga yun, talagang hindi na iiskor yung iba eh. Pinagpursigihan namin na kailangan namin sila i-stop.”
Romeo and Pringle still combined for 51 points, almost half of their entire output, but only Mike Glover and Joseph Yeo were the other GlobalPort players who scored in double figures.
Still, Abueva had the last laugh as he made the most of a rare start by putting up 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, eight boards, three assists, and two blocks in just 26 minutes.
“Bigay talaga kasi sa last three games namin, kailangan talaga namin manalo, crucial part ‘to kada laro namin,” said the Commissioner’s Cup Best Player, whose team improved to a 4-5 win-loss card to stay alive in the playoff hunt.
“Hindi pa namin masabi na playoffs (ang iniisip). Knockout game ‘to eh,” he added. “Focus muna kami kung sino ang next kalaban namin.”