ANTIPOLO CITY - Abel Galliguez scored seven points in the game, but those numbers were perhaps some of the most important Alaska made in Game Three of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals on Friday night.
Galliguez scored a jumper and a three in consecutive fashion, the back end of Alaska’s 12-0 run that increased the Aces’ lead to 45-35. Galliguez, a third-string guard for the Aces also made a basket that made it a 47-37 lead.
Eventually, the Aces were able to sustain that big lead and went on to beat San Miguel, 125-104, keeping their hopes alive of reaching the finals.
Galliguez said it was a team effort for the Aces. It also helped that Galliguez had great players surrounding him, giving him opportunities to make open shots.
“It was a great team win,” the 28-year-old Galliguez said. “It’s easy for me to score when you have a lot of talent around me, Vic Manuel, Simon Enciso, all of our guys can be a threat, which leaves me open so I just try to stay aggressive. One of our keys was to stay aggressive and that’s what I did. Thank God shots fell.”
The 5-foot-9 Galliguez was also on the floor when the Aces were able to keep the big lead in the fourth when Manuel, Diamon Simpson, and the rest of the first stringers were on the bench resting.
“We knew that San Miguel is a great, talented team. They play with a lot of heart. They are cerebral, and very talented. We knew that we just need to be solid, execute our game plan, and just take our chances with our game plan. I think with any group that coach Alex goes with, we can get the job done. We will trust the process and trust what coach Alex has been doing and trust with the results,” said Galliguez.
Galliguez’s contributions are a welcome sight for Alaska, which is still missing the services of guard Chris Banchero due to a family emergency.
While he was glad his contributions led to a victory, Galliguez recognizes that a lot of work is still to be done in order for Alaska to force a rubber match. Game Four is on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“That’s the thing you work for. No one counts the hours and shots that you put in the gym every day. When it comes to the moment, your name and number is called up, and those shots fall, that’s a great feeling.
“But at the same time, looking forward, it’s just one game. It’s a best-of-five series. We’ve got to look forward and keep the momentum going,” said Galliguez.