ANTIPOLO — Diamon Simpson shrugged off an ankle sprain to help Alaska extend the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series against San Miguel.
The Alaska import, who suffered the sprain in Game Two, had 21 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks in Alaska’s win over San Miguel in Game Three, preventing the Aces from suffering a sweep at the hands of the Beermen.
Alaska lived to fight another day, with Game Four slated on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Colisuem.
Coach Alex Compton hailed the 30-year-old import for battling through pain.
“I think it’s visible that Diamon is still hobbled,” said Compton. “He’s trying because he really is a warrior. I didn’t know Diamon before. I wasn’t with Alaska when Diamon came here last time, so I didn’t know what type of person or what type of character he has. But he is playing like 1.5 legs right now and he’s trying his best. That guy is a warrior.”
Simpson said he felt better after getting several days off, with Game Three played on Friday after Wednesday’s basketball games were rained out.
“It’s better than it was a few days ago,” said the Saint Mary’s College of California product. “It’s a little bothersome but we are still working on it. It will be better.”
“It’s just bothersome. It’s not the worst injury, and for that, I’m grateful to keep improving it.”
Simpson got a lot of help in Game Three, with Vic Manuel, Jvee Casio, Simon Enciso and Abel Galliguez contributing big for the win.
“I thought the whole team played well, not just the bench and the starters. I think the whole team contributed which helped us in the win. Congratulations to our team. We just have to keep on going,” said Simpson.
The Alaska import, in his second tour of duty for the Aces after playing in the 2010 Fiesta Conference, hopes the Game Three victory will translate into something big for his team in the semifinal series.
“That was a good win, but we can’t get too excited. That’s a good team and we have to come back and play them again on Sunday, try to play with our hearts again, and see if that’s enough,” said Simpson.