One month and thirteen days after being beaten by San Miguel Beer in last conference’s best-of-seven finals, Alaska aims to extract revenge from the Beermen at 7 p.m. tonight in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will meet the Mahindra Enforcers in the 4:15 p.m. opening game.
The Aces are coming off five consecutive wins after losing their first game against Blackwater.
Expected to step up for Alaska is replacement import Shane Edwards who had an average output of 27 points and 10 rebounds in his last five games.
“I expect another difficult game against the best team in the league,” Alaska coach Alex Compton told The Manila Times on Tuesday via text message. “They have been dominant the last two years and now they have another great import in Tyler Wilkerson.”
“June Mar [Fajardo], Alex [Cabagnot], Marcio [Lassiter] Arwind [Santos], and all of their other great players are very tough for us and now we have to worry about Wilkerson too. We will put our best effort out there and see what happens.”
Besides Edwards, Calvin Abueva will also provide firepower for the Aces together with Cyrus Baguio, Vic Manuel, Chris Banchero, Jayvee Casio, RJ Jazul, Dondon Hontiveros, Sonny Thoss and Chris Exciminiano.
The Beermen, coming off a loss against the Elasto Painters (105-108), are expected to regroup as they aim for their fourth victory. San Miguel Beer, with a 3-2 win-loss record, is currently occupying the third place.
The Beermen will lean on local players two-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Ronald Tubid, Arwind Santos, Gabby Espinas, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Jay-R Reyes and Chris Lutz.
Rain or Shine and Mahindra, meanwhile, are both aiming for a fourth victory.
The Elasto Painters and the Enforcers are both carrying 3-3 win-loss records.