Alaska downs Star in Game 1 | Inquirer Sports

Alaska downs Star in Game 1

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:45 AM July 02, 2015

ALEX Mallari of Star Hotshots gets swarmed by a triple team of Alaska’s (from left) Cyrus Baguio, JVee Casio and Calvin Abueva. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

ALEX Mallari of Star Hotshots gets swarmed by a triple team of Alaska’s (from left) Cyrus Baguio, JVee Casio and Calvin Abueva. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Alex Compton felt like he was coaching a different Alaska team against Star in the first half Wednesday night, one that was scared and paid too much respect to the enemy.

What came out after the halftime break was the Alaska of old, the team that topped the elimination round of the PBA Governors’ Cup and manhandled the Hotshots there, repeating that victory in come-from-behind style to draw first blood in their quarterfinal playoff.

Romeo Travis spearheaded the searing Alaska comeback from 18 points down in the first half as the Aces rose from the depths to pull out a 97-91 victory over the defending champion Hotshots for a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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“We looked like we were scared of our kuya (big brother), that we were paying too much respect, and I couldn’t take that,” Compton finally said when pressed by reporters as to the kind of talk he gave after the Aces closed out the first half staring at a 36-51 deficit.

“I got a tough group of guys that I coach every day, a special group of guys that doesn’t give up till the end,” Compton went on. “But in the first half, that wasn’t that group.”

Travis scored 11 of his total in the third and had seven in the fourth, and Compton got so many others hitting crucial baskets as Alaska took not only the series opener but also psychological edge going into tomorrow’s second game.

Travis wound up with 28 points and 10 rebounds, and JV Casio finished with 18, including the insurance free throws with 15.2 ticks left which eventually rounded out scoring.

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Semis gfx SanMiguel vs RoS

Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine start their side of the PBA Governors’ Cup Final Four showdown Thursday with the Beermen trying to put an end to the Elasto Painters’ impressive streak at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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Game time is 7 p.m. with San Miguel looking to start another winning streak while snapping Rain or Shine’s amazing seven-game run for the proverbial head start in their separate best-of-five series.

NOTES: It was a double celebration for Compton, whose wife gave birth to a girl they named Annika. He was absent during the team’s practice on Tuesdayto attend to his wife and he said that he is now 3-0 whenever he misses practice prior to a game. “I’m never going to show up (to practices before the game) for the rest of the year,” he said in jest.

The scores:

ALASKA 97—Travis 28, Casio 18, Banchero 10, Baguio 8, Abueva 8, Manuel 7, Dela Rosa 6, Hontiveros 6, Jazul 4, Thoss 2, Exciminiano 0, Menk 0, Dela Cruz 0.

STAR 91—Blakely 23, Simon 16, Barroca 15, Yap 13, Mallari 6, Devance 6, Pingris 4, Pennisi 4, Melton 2, Reavis 2, Taha 0.

Quarters: 16-26, 36-51, 70-70, 97-91

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TAGS: Basketball, PBA, PBA Governors' Cup

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