(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. – Globalport vs Alaska (Game 5 best-of-7 semifinals)
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. – San Miguel Beer vs Rain or Shine (Game 5 best-of-7 semifinals)
The last thing Alaska mentor Alex Compton wants is for his team is to be ‘complacent’ as the Aces go for the kill when they face the Globalport Batang Pier in Game 5 of their semifinal series in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Compton and company need one more win to end the best-of-seven Final Four showdown and book a spot in the finals for the 29th time and 10th in an all-Filipino conference in franchise history.
Alaska took a commanding 3-1 lead by winning Game 4, 109-84, last Sunday at the Big Dome.
“I thought the guys responded well, it makes me proud to coach this team with their team effort. I hope we can finish it off in Game 5, but we don’t under estimate them,” said Compton.
After losing the series opener (93-107) last Jan. 4, Alaska has won the next three games by an average of 20.66 points, holding Globalport to just 34 percent shooting from the field.
Compton expects the Aces to display the same tenacity on defense, particularly on Globalport’s 1-2 punch of third year scoring guard Terrence Romeo and sophomore playmaker Stanley Pringle where he has shuffled the likes of Calvin Abueva, JV Casio, RJ Jazul, Chris Banchero and Ping Exciminiano to defend the high-octane backcourt of the Batang Pier.
In the 41-year history of Asia’s first pro league, only three teams – out of the 45 – that fell 1-3 in a seven-game series were able to bounce back from the deficit to win the showdown.
The most recent was Talk ’N Text against San Miguel Beer in 2012 Philippine Cup semifinals.
Compton and his Alaska are also looking to a return trip in the finals of the Philippine Cup for the second straight time after losing to San Miguel Beer and 6-10 center June Mar Fajardo in a classic best-of-seven affair that went to the decider Game 7.
A victory by the Aces will give the Wilfred Uytengsu-owned franchise an opportunity to end a 16-year drought in the all-Filipino conference or since winning the AFC championship back in 2000 when Tim Cone was still at the helm and the now-retired Kenneth Duremdes the star player.
For the Batang Pier to stay in contention, coach Pido Jarencio said they have to put more than extra effort to win Game 5.
“Playoffs na to, dito, hindi ka pwedeng mapagod, hindi ka pwedeng bumagal, you can’t stop. Dapat nakiki-compete ka, hindi pwede ‘yung magre-relax ka,” said Jarencio.