Alaska rallies, sends Barako Bull to its 2nd straight loss
Alaska rose from 22 points down to beat Barako Bull, 101-95, and draw closer to a top four finish in the 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Romeo Travis had 23 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the Aces, who tied the San Miguel Beermen in first place with a 7-2 record.
“I’d really thought, coming in this might be our hardest game of the conference,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
True enough, the Aces were in all sorts of trouble—falling behind by as much as 22 points, 62-40, at halftime.
“My feeling was we had a bad first half that we could’ve had. It was really ugly in the first half.”
But the Aces kept their poise. They took their time and got back who they are—stifling on defense and deadly at the other end.
Romeo led Alaska’s comeback with 13 points in the third quarter alone while also holding his own against the bigger Liam McMorrow in the second half.
McMorrow scored 17 points in the first two quarters but was held to just nine the rest of the way with Romeo, who gave up about eight inches in height, keeping him out of his comfort zone.
“I was encouraged to hear Romeo lighting his teammates up. He showed great leadership,” Compton said of Romeo’s halftime pep talk at the dugout that had the team coming out with much more intensity and fire in the second half.
Rookie Chris Banchero also had a solid outing with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Alaska while Calvin Abueva added 16 points and seven rebounds.
JVee Casio was scoreless through three quarters but came alive late—hitting six of his eight fourth-quarter points in the final 2:56. He shot his first 3-pointer that gave Alaska a 95-86 lead and buried another for a 98-94 cushion with 1:24 remaining.
Joseph Yeo rebounded from a scoreless game on Wednesday with 18 points but him bouncing back was still not enough for Barako Bull to assure itself a quarterfinals berth. The Energy suffered their first back-to-back losses of the conference and slipped to 6-3. RC