Aces, Batang Pier tangle in KO match
Mall of Asia Arena
6:30 p.m. — Alaska vs GlobalPort
A PRE-TOURNAMENT favorite practically every time, Alaska has been the perfect definition of what heart-rending is.
The losers of their last seven games, the Aces try to look for a little ray of sunshine on Sunday night when they slug it out with GlobalPort for the right to play on — even for just a little more — in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Unable to win for more than two months now, the Aces will come into the 6:30 p.m. knockout contest looking to duplicate a 107–79 ripping of the Batang Pier at the start of this conference last March 17, a win that touched off a four-game winning streak that justified Alaska’s tag as one of the teams to beat here.
Armed with one of the best imports in the conference in Corey Jefferson and a local crew other teams drool over, the Aces are now down to their last shot to make the playoffs and arrange a quarterfinal duel with No. 1 Barangay Ginebra.
“(This is our) last chance. No excuses,” Alaska coach Alex Compton said after preparing his charges against a GlobalPort crew that, unlike the Aces, enjoyed some measure of success late in the elimination round to be in this knockout tussle.
“It’s time for our best,” Compton said.
GlobalPort went 2-2 in closing out the classification phase, undergoing a massive overhaul at around that time by acquiring several blue-chip locals and a new import in Justin Harper.
The winner of this match will advance against the Gin Kings and would need to defeat Ginebra two straight times to make it to the Final Four.
Jefferson scored 28 points in his first PBA game, which was against the Batang Pier.
There were three locals in twin digits in that lopsided win for Compton, who went on to beat Blackwater, Mahindra and defending champion Rain or Shine before the drought struck.
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