Alaska, Star collide in semifinals opener


Alaska will take on the Purefoods Star now under the tutelage of their former coach Tim Cone today at the start of the best-of-five semifinals of 40th Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Game 1 starts at 7:00 p.m.

Alaska head coach Alex Comp¬ton admitted that he was impressed by the Star’s back-to-back wins in the quarterfinals against GlobalPort, including a 53-point lead victory in the first game that neutralized the twice-to-best advantage of their opponent.

The Star formalized their entry in the semifinals by beating Glo¬balPort in their winner-take-all match on Sunday.

“They [Star] are a great playoffs team and they have the experience together. Marcus [Blakely] is also doing great. Is this his fourth conference here?,” Compton told reporters during interview. “We’re gonna have our hands full in this series.”

The Aces are expected to depend on high-energy forward Calvin Abueva, import Romeo Travis, guard Cyrus Baguio, veteran guard Dondon Hontiveros, JV Casio and forward Vic Manuel, among others in their bout against Purefoods.

After finishing the elimination round with an 8-3 record, the Aces led by Manuel beat No. 8 Barangay Ginebra en route to the semifinals. Alaska also held a twice-to-beat advantage during the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Star coach Tim Cone said that he is expecting the Aces to play aggressively in the semifinals that’s why he is instructing his wards to beef up offensive and defensive measures.

“I do not like to talk about playing against my former team. Alaska is playing high-level basketball and high level of defense, they are a formidable team and complete. We just have to match their energy and intensity,” said Cone.

Star will be depending on import Marcus Blakely with the support of two-time MVP James Yap, Jean Marc Pingris, Joe Devance, Alex Mallari and Marc Barroca, among others.


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