Alaska will be gunning for a share of the top spot while Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) aims for a back-to-back win today in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces, last year’s first runner-up, will battle the Star Hotshots under coach Jason Webb in the second game at 7 p.m. after the 4:15 p.m. opening match between the NLEX Road Warriors and the Meralco Bolts.
Alaska, now with a win-loss record of 4-1, previously defeated GlobalPort 123-104 through the spectacular performance of guard Cyrus Baguio, Vic Manuel, Calvin Abueva, Sonny Thoss, Chris Banchero, Eric Menk, Jayvee Casio and RJ Jazul.
The Aces under coach Alex Compton and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are presently tied at No. 2 to 3 spots with same records while the defending champion San Miguel Beermen are leading solo with a 5-1 win-loss record.
The Star Hotshots, bearing a 2-4 win-loss record and currently No.9, are expected to go all-out to stop a two-game losing skid. The Hotshots previously lost to the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters 86-91 and the Meralco Bolts 83-87.
The Hotshots are expected to bank on the talent of two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap, Mark Barroca, Jean Marc Pingris, Ian Sanggalang, Peter June Simon, Justin Melton, Mark Cruz and Rafi Reavis.
The Road Warriors under coach Boyet Fernandez, meanwhile, are aiming for a back-to-back victory against the Bolts of coach Norman Black after beating the Texters 107-101 last Friday. NLEX, now with a win-loss record of 3-2, is presently tied with GlobalPort and Talk ‘N Text that are both carrying the same win-loss records.
The Road Warriors will rely on current PBA Player of the Week Sean Anthony, who finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds against Talk ‘N Text with the supports of Paul Asi Taulava, Kevin Alas, Simon Enciso, Mac Cardona, Jonas Villa¬nueva and Mark Borboran.
The Bolts, fresh from halting a five game-losing streak, will lean on the prowess of Gary David, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Reynel Hugnatan, Chris New¬some, Baser Amer, Simon Atkins, Kelly Nabong, Cliff Hodges and Jared Dillinger.