(Photo from PBA Images/Inquirer)
GlobalPort opened the 2015-2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals with flying colors as the Batang Pier drew first blood on the Alaska Aces, 107-93, to clinch the Game One win on Monday, at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay.
Former FEU superstar Terrence Romeo triggered the spark for Global Port, dishing a career-high of 41 points, in his first-ever appearance in the professional basketball league’s semifinals stint.
The star point guard was on fire as he unloaded a 22-point carom in the first half alone, which then shackled the all-time pressure defense system of the Aces.
Coach Pido Jarencio’s wards, who just had a few days layoff after the fiery playoffs battle, stirred the momentum up and built an 18-point premature gap that saw Romeo’s six-of-six bullets from the three-point wings, and from then on, the Gilas guard became too unstoppable down the stretch.
The 24-6 start up sent the Gatas Republik on panic as this was not the kind of show the Aces were best at, but the show is not yet over for the crowd favorite Alaska.
Coach Alex Compton made some adjustments on the roll heading to the finishing kick of Game One, and Alaska held on for dear life in the likes of its mainmen Cyrus Baguio, Vic Manuel, Calvin Abueva, and Sonny Thoss.
It also did not help that the Aces piled as much as 10 turnovers early in the first half.
But Romeo, who continued to lit fire for the Batang Pier, was simply too much to handle for the Aces as the Best Player of the Conference candidate sustained the run for GlobalPort until the end.
Alongside Romeo, Stanley Pringle had his share of 14 points, while Mamaril and Jensen finished with 12 points apiece.
Alaska, which succumbed to a number of turnovers throughout the game, relied mostly on Cyrus Baguio’s 15 markers.
The Game 2 of the Best-of-Seven series is set to go on Wednesday, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
GLOBALPORT (107) – Romeo 41, Pringle 14, Jensen 12, Mamaril 12, Kramer 6, Semerad 6, Washington 6, Yeo 5, Maierhofer 4, Sumang 1, Pena 0.
ALASKA (93) – Baguio 15, Jazul 14, Manuel 14, Abueva 12, Thoss 12, Banchero 8, Menk 8, Casio 5, Hontiveros 3, Baclao 2, Dela Cruz 0, Dela Rosa 0, Exciminiano 0.