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GlobalPort not just about Romeo, Pringle warns Alaska coach Compton

Alex Compton I File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- While everyone celebrated the New Year with much revelry, Alaska took a workmanlike approach during the Holiday Season as it prepares for its Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal series against GlobalPort starting Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Watching film tapes of GlobalPort’s games in the season-opening conference, along with fine-tuning their defense, Aces guard JV Casio said they are not taking the Batang Pier lightly after seeing them pull off a shocking win over fancied Barangay Ginebra during the knockout quarterfinal phase last week.

“Talagang tough team itong GlobalPort and we expect a tough series. Walang madali dahil they are confident and they have very, very good guards. Tapos 'yung big men nila alam nila ginagawa nila,” Casio told Philstar.com on Sunday as the team winds up its practice.

The sweet-shooting Alaska playmaker is well aware that his hands will be full guarding either Terrence Romeo or Stanley Pringle, GlobalPort’s biggest weapons this season.

“They (Pringle and Romeo) are very good guards. So kailangan naming mag-work as a team talaga to be able to stop them,” explained Casio whose team only took a day off during the New Year before returning to practice.

“Siyempre yung offense nila (Batang Pier) sa kanila talaga nanggagaling but at the same time, sa opportunities na naki-create nila, malaking bagay talaga yun sa team nila,” he added.

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Casio tallied decent stats line of 10 points, six rebounds and five rebounds as Alaska claimed the scalp of GlobalPort, 123-104 during their lone duel in the single-round eliminations on Nov. 20.

But outside Romeo and Pringle, who are averaging 23.9 points and 21.8, respectively this conference, Alaska coach Alex Compton said one can’t overlook the value of forward Jay Washington and Joseph Yeo that enabled GlobalPort to reach the Final Four for the first time in franchise history.

“Coach Pido (Jarencio) got them playing dangerous basketball this season and obviously, people talk a lot about Terrence and Stanley,” said Compton.

“Those two guys have the tremendous ability off the dribble and they are the top shot makers for the team,” he noted.

“But everybody must not forget how good Joseph Yeo is and then there’s Jay Washington, who just two All-Filipino conferences ago was among the top in rebounding and scoring.”

Alaska, which reached the Finals twice last season, will try to draw first blood in their 7 p.m. collision as it relies on its veteran core of Casio, Sonny Toss, Cyrus Baguio, Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel.

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