PBA: We can't get too excited -- Simpson on Aces' win

Mark Escarlote on Jul 20, 2018 11:16 PM
PBA: We can't get too excited -- Simpson on Aces' win
That was a good win but we can't get too excite -- Diamon Simpson

Alaska finally woke up from a slump in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinals series Friday with a rout of defending champion San Miguel Beer.

With their bench producing 71 points led by Vic Manuel and import Diamon Simpson providing his usual numbers despite playing with a sprained ankle, the Aces crushed the Beermen, 125-104, at the Ynares Sports Center here.    

But there’s still much work to be done for Alaska to end a two-year tournament championship stint drought.

The Aces still trail SMB, 1-2, in the series.

“That was a good win but we can't get too excited,” said Simpson, who played through pain to register 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Manuel led Alaska’s bench scoring with 24 points, Simon Enciso came off the bench to add 10 points and eight assists while Nonoy Baclao and Chris Exciminiano had nine markers each to highlight the Aces total team effort. 

“I thought the whole team played well, not just the bench, the starters, I think everybody contributed which helped us win,” Simpson said. “So, congratulations to our team. We just gotta keep going.”

The win gave Alaska the much-needed morale boost for an underdog playing against a deep and talented SMB squad, which came into the game looking for a sweep and a record 40th Finals appearance.

But the Aces spoiled the Beermen’s party. 

“I think they kinda look at it that way at first. But we just persevered, and keep going, and have faith that we can compete with them, and not worried about wins or losses but attitude and effort,” said Simpson.

Game 4 is on Sunday at the Big Dome.

And Alaska will be ready to force a decider and ultimately get a shot at its 31st PBA Finals stint.

“We gotta come back and play them again Sunday and try to play with our heart again and see if that's enough,” Simpson said.

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

 

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