SUMMER is over, but Terrence Romeo made one last hot streak as he lifted GlobalPort to a 107-106 win over Alaska on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena and into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
The Batang Pier superstar knocked down three triples inside the last five minutes, none more important than the last one that put GlobalPort up for good and frustrated the Aces in their playoff for the eighth and last quarterfinal spot.
Romeo finished with 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting, five boards, three assists, and one steal in 34 minutes to lead the Batang Pier, who face top seed and twice-to-beat Ginebra on Tuesday - a remote possibility after starting the conference with six losses in eight games.
“I guess no one expected us to be in this situation,” GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren said.
“But I guess today game’s is a testament that the boys, they don’t want to take a break yet,” he added.
The Aces, on the other, lost for the eighth straight time and will miss the playoffs for the first time in Alex Compton's nine conferences at the helm.
The result put to naught an outstanding performance from Calvin Abeuva, who registered a new career-high of 31 points, two more than his previous best he recorded also versus GlobalPort in the last midseason tournament.
The Batang Pier overhauled an early 14-point deficit before import Justin Harper and Stanley Pringle kept them afloat in a nip-and-tuck battle in the payoff period before Romeo brought them home.
Abueva gave the Aces their last taste of the lead on a running jumper, 104-103, with 21 seconds left, before Romeo retaliated with that go-ahead triple over Kevin Racal with nine ticks left.
Harper wound up with 32 points, 17 boards, and three assists.
GLOBALPORT 107 – Harper 32, Romeo 26, Pringle 21, Guinto 8, Cortez 6, Pessumal 5, Anthony 5, Grey 3, Maierhofer 1, Mamaril 0, Forrester 0, Paredes 0, Pennisi 0
ALASKA 106 – Jefferson 32, Abueva 31, Banchero 16, Manuel 9, Exciminiano 8, Racal 3, Enciso 3, Galliguez 2, Cruz 2, Thoss 0, Pascual 0, Hontiveros 0, Dela Cruz 0
Quarterscores: 20-26, 52-49, 74-78, 107-106