(Mall of Asia Arena)
7 p.m. – Globalport vs Alaska (Game 1 semifinals)
(Mall of Asia Arena)
7 p.m. – Alaska vs Rain or Shine
(Game 1 semifinals)
Count the Alaska Aces mentor Alex Compton as among those who marvels at Globalport’s dynamic backcourt tandem of third year guard Terrence Romeo and sophomore Stanley Pringle.
In the eyes of Compton, however, the Batang Pier is more than just Romeo and Pringle.
“I think people miss out on and forget is how good Joseph and JWash are,” said Compton, referring to veteran Joseph Yeo and Anthony Jay Washington, who were both recruited prior to the season.
“I think Globalport has four legitimate stars (in Romeo-Pringle-Yeo-Washington), and then they’re surrounded by excellent role players who are doing their jobs very well,” added Compton.
Aside from Yeo and Washington, the team of Mikee Romero was able to support Romeo and Pringle with solid veterans as they also acquired four frontline players in separate deals – Billy Mamaril (Ginebra), Doug Kramer (San Miguel), Dorian Pena and Rico Maierhofer (Barako Bull).
They join holdovers in third year forward Keith Jensen and sophomore wingman Anthony Semerad, which provided head coach Pido Jarencio a deep rotation in the power forward and center positions.
Despite an undersized frontline, Mamaril and Kramer were able to hold their own against the ‘Twin Towers’ of Ginebra, which Globalport stunned in their do-or-die quarterfinal match, 84-83, last week to arrange a semifinal showdown with the top seeded Alaska.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven series starts Monday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
Alaska, which earned automatic semifinal spot together with defending champion San Miguel Beer as they finished tied at 9-2 after the elimination round, resumed its practice session yesterday at the Hoops gym in Mandaluyong City.
Compton understands that while Globalport is on its first semifinal stint in the Philippine Cup, this team has experienced players and a coach who knows how to motivate his men.
“I think Globalport has been led very well by Coach Pido and their whole coaching staff,” said Compton, who is hoping to help Alaska make a return trip to the Finals after they lost to SMB in Game 7 last season.
Still, the Alaska coach said that Romeo and Pringle are the players to watch for Globalport – with Romeo averaging almost 24 points with 4.31 rebounds and 3.15 assists this conference while Pringle has tallied 21 points, eight rebounds and 4.23 assists per game.
“Stanley and Terrence are the players that everyone talks about on Global, and for good reason… they are having an incredible conference and are two of the hardest players to guard in the entire PBA,” said Compton.
“Without a question, we’ll have our hands full with this excellent Globalport team and we will need to defend them every possession all series long,” added Compton.Alaska defeated Globalport, 123-104, in their first and only game in the eliminations last Nov. 20.
Compton is now on his second year as Aces’ chief tactician.