- News in Photo
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs Globalport
7 p.m. – Star vs NLEX
Facing a team that has made the finals in four of the last six conferences, Globalport coach Franz Pumaren knows that danger is at hand when they take on Alaska at the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
At the moment, Globalport is the only unbeaten team with its 2-0 record after it downed Mahindra (97-75) and Star (91-84) last week, while Alaska is winless after two games.
Their encounter is set at 4:15 p.m., while colliding at 7 p.m. are the NLEX Road Warriors (1-1) and the Star Hotshots, another winless team with a 0-2 record.
Pumaren said the record of Alaska doesn’t reflect how strong the team is, especially in light of how the team lost its first two games.
“Their record is very deceiving,” said Pumaren. “They have lost their last two matches, but look at how they lost those games with an incomplete roster. They’re a very potent team.”
Without hard-driving forward Calvin Abueva and veteran center Sonny Thoss – both nursing injuries – the Aces lost to defending champion San Miguel Beer (93-88) and NLEX in overtime (99-97).
Aside from Abueva (quadriceps) and Thoss (knee), the team also played minus Rome dela Rosa (quadriceps) and Noy Baclao (knee). The four are still doubtful for the game versus Globalport.
Alaska, however, will have Vic Manuel and Ping Exciminiano, both back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension handed by management in violation of their contracts when they played in a pickup game recently.
Alaska mentor Alex Compton is wary on the Batang Pier considering how the squad is developing under Pumaren and particularly with recent recruits KG Camaleta, Mike Cortez and JR Quiñahan.
“Global has an incredibly potent offense led by Terrence [Romeo] and Stanley [Pringle], they have added in key players in JR and KG, and their coach is one of the top in the country,” said Compton.
“We have got to defend Terrence and Stanley as a team, but then we have to worry about the veterans they already had last year, with those they added this year with KG, JR, Mike and Aaron (Aban).”
“We really want to get into the win column after two close tough losses to start the season,” added Compton.
Globalport has done well under Pumaren – a former consultant – led by the 1-2 punch of Romeo and Pringle. Romeo is averaging 23.50 points and a career-best seven assists in two games, while Pringle has 20 points, 5.50 rebounds and 3.50 assists.
Pumaren, however, said that the team is still a work in progress and facing Alaska is a big test.
“Hopefully we can sustain our start; we’re still improving as a team,” said Pumaren. “There are lots of things that we’re still working on, and playing Alaska is definitely a big challenge for our team.”