Romeo, GlobalPort edge Alaska for last quarterfinals slot
Terrence Romeo hit the game-winning shot and GlobalPort knocked off Alaska, 107-106, for the last quarterfinals berth in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Romeo buried a 3-pointer to put the Batang Pier ahead for good, 106-104, with 8.1 seconds left.
“We have to give credit to the guy. He’s really willing to take the shot. That’s why he’s Terrence Romeo. In short, makapal talaga ang mukha niya,” said coach Franz Pumaren.
“It’s a gutsy move. It takes one great player to be willing to take that shot.”
The Aces still had a chance to tie the game, but Calvin Abueva’s undergoal stab rolled out of the rim. Justin Harper split his freebies keeping the door open for Alaska, but Simon Enciso muffed his right corner trey in the final 3.0 seconds.
Romeo dropped nine of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, on top of five rebounds and three assists.
Harper topscored for the Batang Pier with 32 markers and 17 boards, while Stanley Pringle added 21 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
Even Pumaren can’t deny that he was surprised with GlobalPort’s sudden ascent to the quarterfinals, as he looked back a month ago when his team seemed primed for an early exit.
“I guess we surprised a lot of people. No one imagined us to be in this situation, to be in the quarterfinals. Just last month, I think most of the basketball fans, they were thinking we were ready to fold and go on a vacation,” he said. “I guess today’s game is a testament that the boys, they don’t want to go on a break yet.”
What awaits, though, is a date against top-seed Ginebra, which will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals starting on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a tough series for us. Just a one-day rest and we’re playing the number one team — the team that’s on a streak. Hopefully, we can sustain the run,” said Pumaren.
The loss capped off a disastrous run for Alaska, which fell to its eighth straight defeat.
It also spoiled Abueva’s milestone night as he had a career-best 31 points, to go with 13 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.
Cory Jefferson led the Aces with 32 markers and 16 boards, while Chris Banchero chipped in 16 markers and four rebounds in the losing effort.
Alaska missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2012 Governors’ Cup, and put a blemish on coach Alex Compton’s eight-straight playoff appearances.
GLOBALPORT 107 – Harper 32, Romeo 26, Pringle 21, Guinto 8, Cortez 6, Pessumal 5, Anthony 5, Grey 3, Maierhofer 1, Mamaril 0, Forrester 0, Paredes 0, Pennisi 0.
ALASKA 106 – Jefferson 32, Abueva 31, Banchero 16, Manuel 9, Exciminiano 8, Racal 3, Enciso 3, Galliguez 2, Cruz 2, Thoss 0, Pascual 0, Hontiveros 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarters: 20-26, 52-49, 74-78, 107-106.
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