by Waylon Galvez
Gary David sank a trey with 9.3 seconds remaining and the Batang Pier’s defense held up in the dying seconds en route to a rousing 91-88 win over Alaska last night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
David, who struggled with his shooting since his stint with Gilas Pilipinas and who missed two previous attempts before his game-winner, got the hand-off pass from Sol Mercado and quickly threw the ball.
That dagger of a shot shattered the game’s last deadlock of 88-all when Cyrus Baguio nailed a trey of his own earlier with 1:11 to play.
Alaska, the Commissioner’s Cup champion, had a chance to level the count, but Globalport’s tight defense prevented the Aces from doing so as Jay Washington forced JV Casio from getting a decent look at the basket from beyond the arc.
With the 6-foot-7 Washington in from of him, the 5-foot-9 Casio was forced to take the last shot from top of the key that hit only the right side of the rim as time expired.
The victory improved Globalport’s record to 2-1, which matched the rookie ball club’s start through three games during the previous conference Commissioner’s Cup, where Batang Pier actually finished with a 2-12 win-loss slate.
It was also Globalport’s first win against Alaska this season after four games.
Globalport import Markeith Cummings led the team in scoring with 28 points, highlighted by a thunderous one-handed dunk that posterized Alaska rookie Calvin Abueva in the third quarter. He also grabbed nine rebounds in 42 minutes of action.
Former two-time MVP Willie Miller came off the bench to add 14 points, including two right-handed layups late in the game, while Washington collected 11 points and nine boards. David, only in his second game this conference, had 10 points.
“After Willie (Miller) was interviewed, he talked to us, and that we stick together and stay together. That’s a sign of a team that will win. It’s like, ‘I’ll protect your back, you protect mine’,” said Globalport coach Junel Baculi.
“There were lapses with Sol, but he understood the last play, the hand-off to David, who had a special tribute (as he was given a plaque of appreciation by the PBA for his Gilas Pilipinas stint), kahit paano he showed the heart,” he added.
Import Wendell McKines scored 28 points and added 13 boards for Alaska, which played its first game this conference after its match with Talk ’N Text last Wednesday was cancelled due to typhoon ‘Maring’. Sonny Thoss had 16, while Baguio and Casio finished with 13 and 11, respectively.
Globalport 91 – Cummings 28, Miller 14, Washington 11, David 10, Mercado 9, Hayes 5, Nabong 4, Lingganay 4, Yee 4, Alonzo 2, Faundo 0.
Alaska 88 – McKines 28, Thoss 16, Baguio 13, Casio 11, Abueva 7, Espinas 6, Hontiveros 3, Ramos 2, Dela Cruz 2, Jazul 0.
Quarters: 19-26, 44-45, 68-68, 91-88.