Grateful Alex Compton raves Exciminiano was 'fantastic,' Baclao 'played like an All-Star'
Back-ups Ping Eximiniano and Noy Baclao emerged as the unlikely heroes for Alaska, which took a commanding 2-0 lead over defending champion Star in their PBA Governors Cup semifinals series. Jerome Ascano

ALASKA coach Alex Compton welcomed the timely production of back-ups Ping Exciminiano and Noy Baclao in the Aces’ 95-74 rout Star in Game Two of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series on Friday night.

Baclao registered 10 points as he made all of his five shots, on top of five boards, and one assist in 17 minutes, while Exciminiano had the same scoring output, highlighted by two three-pointers, to go with two boards, and two assists in 14 minutes.

“I absolutely love watching Ping Exciminiano hit threes and Noy Baclao playing like an All-Star,” said Compton, who had nine Aces score at least seven points. “How much does that help?”

Both Exciminiano’s triples came late in the second quarter, helping the Aces establish a six-point lead at halftime and set the tone for the blowout.

“Ping was fantastic. You know the energy that he brings, his effort, and what he does in transition both ways, but then he strokes two threes,” Compton said.

[See Foul-plagued Abueva didn't mind sitting out as sub Baclao fills void]

Imagine how Baclao was itching to play after seeing action in just five games in the regular season and two minutes in the quarterfinals against Ginebra.

“Sinasabihan nya ako na be patient, in God's time, darating din yung time na ako 'yung gagamitin,” Baclao said.

Compton felt it was Baclao’s time in Game Two after Calvin Abueva was hobbled by foul trouble.

“He came in and he was just the epitome of a professional,” Compton said. “He made shots, but bigger than that, we know Noy is a great defender, and that was what got us the win in the second half, our total team defense.”

Baclao gladly repaid his coach’s faith.

“Makatulong lang sa team, 'yun lang ang gusto ko,” the former Ateneo stalwart said. “Kung ano 'yung kailangan sa loob, ibigay lang para makatulong lang din talaga.”

“Swerte lang din kasi yung tira ko pumapasok,” he added.

[See Alaska a win away from finals as super-subs Baclao, Exciminiano help put away fading Star]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos