GLOBALPORT survived an endgame scare from Alaska before free throws by rookie Terrence Romeo and Alex Cabagnot sealed the Batang Pier’s heart-stopping 92-88 win over the Aces in the PBA Governors Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier led by as many as 17 points behind the hot hands of Cabagnot, Romeo, and import Leroy Hickerson, before allowing the Aces to slowly chip away their imposing lead in the final period.
Calvin Abueva, who finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds, ignited the Aces’ endgame rally with a putback and a quick steal off Jondan Salvador’s turnover off an inbound play to push Alaska to within 88-93 with 20.9 ticks to go.
Romeo split his foul shots on the next play, before Alaska import Henry “Bill” Walker drained a three-point shot to close in at 88-91 in the final 12 seconds.
Alaska elected to foul and send Jay Washington to the foul line to stop the clock, but the veteran big man missed both free throws, opening the door for a game-tying basket by the Aces.
Fortunately, Hickerson grabbed the offensive rebound that led to a Cabagnot split from the free throw line that sealed the Batang Pier’s first win in two starts in the season-ending tournament.
“Give credit to the boys, especially mga veteran players namin, talagang gusto nilang manalo,” said Globalport coach Pido Jarencio, whose team opened the conference with a 71-89 loss to Barangay Ginebra on Tuesday.
It was a sorry loss for the Aces, whose game was marked by 19 turnovers which the Batang Pier converted to 25 points.
Alaska playmakers JV Casio and RJ Jazul each accounted for five of the team’s turnovers.
Hickerson led Globalport with 25 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, and three assists, while Cabagnot chipped in 24 points.
Romeo added 18, even as Washington bounced back from a sub-par game against Ginebra to score 13.
Walker had 22 points to lead the Aces, who dropped to an even 1-1 record in a tie with the Batang Pier.
GLOBALPORT (95) -- Hickerson 25, Cabagnot 24, Romeo 18, Washington 13, Garcia 8, Ponferada 4, Macapagal 2, Matias 1, Taha 0, Menk 0, Hayes 0, Salvador 0.
ALASKA (91) -- Walker 22, Casio 16, Espinas 14, Abueva 14, Baguio 8, Jazul 6, Hontiveros 5, Manuel 4, Thoss 2.
Quarterscores: 24-22; 48-34; 66-62; 95-91.