GLOBALPORT continued to make giant strides in its second season after knocking down Alaska, 94-84, for its third straight win in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Solomon Mercado was again on the attack mode, finishing with 26 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while making 10-of-13 foul shots in another strong all-around game.
More significantly, Mercado drew the much-needed support from the team’s rookie backcourt of Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia, who chipped in 21 and 13 points, respectively.
“Sol has been the leader of this team. Obviously, he was just trying to feel his way through with the team during the first few games,” said Globalport winning coach Ritchie Ticzon, whose team’s fourth win in seven starts matches the four-win total the franchise had during last season’s Governors Cup when the Batang Pier made the playoffs for the first time ever.
The team's third straight win was also the longest in franchise history.
Ticzon pointed out defense has been clicking of late for the team, which is also one of the major reasons why the Batang Pier are making heads turn halfway through the tournament.
“We were able to play good defense and basically, in the first half, we were able to contain all their (Aces) runs in the second half,” he said.
“The players responded very well by playing good defense, while it’s also good that RR hit three-pointers late in the game.”
The Batang Pier enjoyed a huge 23-7 advantage on turnover points as their defense made life miserable for the struggling Aces.
JV Casio led the Aces with a career-high 28 points, but failed to get the usual scoring support from veterans Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss and Gabby Espinas.
The 6’7” Thoss managed to score 13 points, but was a non-factor during the second half. RJ Jazul added 10 points, while Baguio only had eight on three-of-10 shooting from the field.
The struggling Aces, who also played without injured Calvin Abueva, fell to 2-5 with the loss.