Alaska shoots for a share of the lead when it battles a skidding Mahindra squad on Monday while Rain or Shine seeks for fifth victory when it faces Talk ‘N Text in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces, whose five-game winning streak was halted by the reigning Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beermen (116-96), will be facing the Enforcers in the first game at 4:15 p.m. to be followed by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters second game at 7 p.m.
Alaska’s second loss in seven games, however, came unfortunately on coach Alex Compton’s 42nd birthday last Wednesday placing them still in second place with a 5-2 win-loss record. Against the Enforcers, the Aces won’t surely allow themselves to suffer another stinging defeat.
Meralco is presently leading the league with 6-2 win-loss record.
Bruiser forwards Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel are going to pounce on Mahindra’s defense together with teammates Jayvee Casio, Chris Banchero, Sonny Thoss, Cyrus Baguio, Dondon Hontiveros, Eric Menk, Rome Dela Rosa, 6’10 center Eman Samigue and import Shane Edwards.
But Mahindra is keen on avoiding a four-game losing skid.
The Enforcers, who are presently tied with Northern Luzon Expressway and Talk ‘N Text in seventh to ninth spot with identical 3-4 win-loss record, will bank on import Augustus Gilchrist, Mark Yee, LA Revilla, Mike Digregorio, Bradwyn Guinto, Karl Dehesa, Aldrech Ramos and Nino “KG” Canaleta.
Rain or Shine, meanwhile, guns for a fourth straight victory when it clashes against Talk ‘N Text. The Elasto Painters, who will rely on import Mo Charlo, are enjoying a 4-3 win-loss record after having a worst start this season due to problems on their previous imports.
But head coach Yeng Guiao won’t be seeing action beside the Elasto Painters bench after the league has imposed a one-game suspension and P40, 000 fine against him for yelling invective words to referees during their game against Mahindra last March 16.
He was ejected before the halftime break during that game.
“We just have to focus on import match up. David Simon of Talk ‘N Text is a great low post player and he is taller than Mo, so we have to adjust defensively,” Guiao told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “I’m encouraging our import to shoot more and become more offensive minded.”
Aside from Charlo, Rain or Shine will lean on Beau Belga, Jeff Chan, Chris Tiu, rookie Maverick Ahanmisi, JR Quinahan, Jericho Cruz and Paul Lee.
Talk ‘N Text, on the other hand, looks for a back-to-back win to improve its present standings.
JOSEF T. RAMOS