Alaska clashes with Petron in crucial rematch
ALASKA and Petron Blaze try to bounce back from heart-rending losses when they clash today in a game that could influence the race for the top two berths in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces will actually be gunning for a repeat over the Boosters in the 7:30 p.m. contest. If they are successful, the Aces would take over solo leadership heading into the Holy Week break—just two games short of the hypothetical number of wins needed to clinch a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
A loss by Alaska would drop the Aces to solo third while giving Petron a share of the lead with Rain or Shine at 7-3.
Several coaches believe that the magic number for a top two berth—and the twice-to-beat bonus—would be 10 wins.
While Petron and Alaska are jockeying for prime positions in the playoffs, Globalport is looking to simply stay alive.
With seven straight losses in a tail-ending 2-8 card, the Batang Pier need a win over Meralco in the 5:15 p.m. game to avoid getting the curtains early. Another loss would drop the Batang Pier behind the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Alaska-Petron duel marks the first meeting between the two squads since the celebrated Renaldo Balkman meltdown.
The Aces defeated the Boosters, 83-73, the first time they met and held Balkman to just six points. Balkman lost his cool in the end after a non-call, chased referees and choked teammate Arwind Santos when the latter tried to pacify him.
Balkman was slapped a P250,000 fine and banned for life from the PBA. He was replaced by Rodney White, who had a poor debut in a loss to Talk ‘N Text, which held Petron scoreless in overtime in a 93-85 come-from-behind victory.
White had 12 points in 31 minutes of action
Robert Dozier, rookie Calvin Abueva and veteran Cyrus Baguio will lead Alaska in the expected absence of Sonny Thoss and JV Casio due to injuries.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94