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Eager-Beaver Batang Pier

After eliminating ‘crowd favorite’ Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Globalport’s dynamic backcourt tandem of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle is ready for a grueling seven-game semifinal showdown with Alaska in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup.

“We’re looking forward to that series,” said Pringle, who scored 25 points in Globalport’s 84-83 win in a do-or-die game against Ginebra in the second stage of the quarterfinal playoffs last Sunday.

The semifinal playoffs will start January 4, 2016, with the Aces coming in fresh after ending the elimination phase tied for the best record at 9-2 with defending champion San Miguel Beer.

The two teams earned outright Final Four berths, with Alaska claiming the No. 1 seed due to the ‘winner over the other’ rule after it downed SMB in their lone meeting in the eliminations (103-97).

Pringle, a former No. 1 overall pick, was involved in a controversial play when he supposedly committed a five-second ‘ball hogging’ violation near mid court with the time winding down.

Trapped by Ginebra’s defense of guard Sol Mercado and center Greg Slaughter, Pringle held on to the ball before passing it to Keith Jensen, and then to Romeo as time expired.

“It was good, it was a good win. We played like a team, and everybody on the team wanted to win really bad,” said Pringle, who also added eight rebounds in nearly 45 minutes of action.

As for Romeo, who scored 23 points in their win against Ginebra, he said that the team’s sacrifices and hard work has paid off but he understands that it’s not over as they have to prepare against the Aces.

“Kailangan mag-ready kami kasi sobrang hirap kalaban ang Alaska,” said Romeo.

The one-time Gilas Pilipinas star said he and Pringle improved their on-court relationship during the two quarters games Glovalport played, which also includes a 94-85 win against Barako Bull.

“Medyo natututo na kami, nagi-improve na kami nag-uusap kami ni Stanley,” said Romeo, who will be facing his former Gilas teammate Calvin Abueva.

Romeo leads the team in scoring, averaging 23.92 points with 4.31 rebounds and 3.15 assists through 13 games, including the two games in the quarterfinals, while Pringle has 21.08 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.23 assists.

Globalport, however, suffered a humiliating 123-104 setback to Alaska in their single game during the eliminations despite Romeo’s 33 points on 17-of-35 shooting from the field.