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Aces gun for 3-1 lead

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Game Today
(Smart Araneta)
5 p.m. – Alaska vs Globalport (Game 4)
* Alaska leads
Best-of-7 series 2-1

Give it to Alaska coach Alex Compton to deny Globalport counterpart Pido Jarencio even a small psychological opening from where to launch a win-one-for-the-Gipper pep talk heading to the critical Game 4 tonight.

After the Aces blasted the Batang Pier, 82-69, for a 2-1 lead in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Friday, Compton threw Globalport off their scent by pouring honey all over Jarencio and his assistants.

“Credit to Coach Pido and their staff; they kicked our butts in the third quarter,” said Compton by way of kicking off the post-game media interview. “I would like to commend the direction Globalport is going; they’re doing something right, they’re competing.”

This after Alaska kicked Globalport’s butt in the fourth. Unbelievable.

Now the Aces will be looking to hang the Batang Pier out to dry as they gun for a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series at 5 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In what direction is Globalport going again?

The fourth quarter whipping came in the form of a 16-1 Alaska run that so unnerved Batang Pier star Terrence Romeo that he picked up his fourth foul off RJ Jasul and followed it up right away getting ejected – for extending his butt out and drawing a technical – his second for the evening.

He walked to the locker room with 17 points on a head-spinning 7 of 23 from the floor, including 2 of 10 from beyond the 3-point arc, five turnovers and without an assist in 32:29 minutes.

Mired under a 27 percent shooting percentage, with 28 missed triples, Jarencio wisely offered no alibis.

“Outplayed and outcoached, ‘yun lang ‘yun,” Jarencio told Spin.ph before walking over to where team owner Mikee Romero was bristling.

Globalport took Game 1 of the series, 107-93, while Alaska levelled two days later, 100-76, before taking the upper hand when the Batang Pier failed to sustain their 27-point performance in the third quarter where they rallied from a 36-26 halftime deficit to tie the game, 53-all, going to the last 12 minutes.

“It was a huge defensive effort from us,” said Compton, referring to a five-minute stretch in the fourth where the Aces turned a 57-54 deficit into a 70-58 breakaway by forcing the Batang Pier to miss nine field goal attempts and turn the ball over on four occasions.

Officiating was stringent in Game 3 in the aftermath of the pileup that broke out in the first half of Game 2, resulting in a record 16 technicals and drawing a season-high R91,200 in fines, the largest of which hit Abueva, who was levied R41,000 for reportedly instigating the scuffle.

Abueva, in fact, got a T for wagging his tongue at the direction of the Globalport bench in Game 2, while Romeo was cited for his first after pointing at the referee following a foul called on him.

Both teams are committed to a blazing, run-and-gun game. But while Alaska has the shifty Jayvee Casio and Sonny Thoss to pull everybody back in line when the situation goes awry, Globalport has nobody to put the leash on its dynamic backcourt duo or its highly-emotional backup crew once things go south, resulting in a chaotic offensive.

Its explosive bench continues to be the power behind the Aces and Globalport ought to consider paying more attention defensively on Alaska once Vic Manuel, RJ Jasul, Calvin Abueva, Chris Banchero and Dondon Hontiveros – starters actually masquerading as a second unit – step in.