Aces eye clincher vs Kings today | Inquirer Sports

Aces eye clincher vs Kings today

Now or never for desperate Ginebra
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:03 AM May 19, 2013

ALASKA rookie sensation Calvin Abueva (No. 8) gets fouled hard while being double- teamed by Ginebra’s Rob Lagabala (No. 9) and Mark Caguioa in Friday’s Game 2 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals duel. The Aces won to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

MORE than clinching its 14th PBA title with no less than a sweep, Alaska takes to the floor today looking to regain old glory under a coach owner Fred Uytengsu gambled on following the sudden departure of Tim Cone for greener pastures last year.

Two-to-nothing up and all pumped up, the Aces will try to deal the final blow to a tired and emotionally drained Barangay Ginebra squad in Game 3 of the Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five title series that was close only when the pundits gave out their pre-playoff predictions.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao and the Aces have all the momentum going their way after winning the first two games by a combined margin of 31 points and leading the series opener by as many as 30 and Game 2 by as large as 24.

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“We have a game plan that is working, and until they figure that out, we have to stick to that,” the young Alaska coach, Luigi Trillo, said after improving to 4-0 against the Kings in this conference.

“They now have to beat us three straight times, and for us, we have to keep on doing the same thing.”

Another win would give the Alaska franchise its first title since Cone left to join San Miguel Corp., leading most experts to declare that life will never be the same for the Aces.

It will also validate Uytengsu’s move to promote Trillo, one of Cone’s assistants, to head coaching duties despite Trillo’s forgettable stints as a coach in the UAAP.

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Only two teams in the history of the league has ever come back from 0-2 down in a best-of-five series to win and of all the squads, the PBA has never seen a team as resilient and as stubborn as the Gin Kings.

But having gone through the wringer in the playoffs and with team leader Mark Caguioa still nursing an injured knee, Ginebra seems fagged out and resigned to losing.

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“We’ve done everything we could,” said Ginebra crack guard and former Alaska ace LA  Tenorio said while gently massaging his head after a 90-104 Game 2 loss on Friday. “They (Aces) are really playing great. For me, I’ll give it all (today) and see what happens. Gusto ko na din magpahinga (I need to rest somehow).”

Trillo has devised a defensive blanket that totally shut down Vernon Macklin, the main reason why Ginebra, ranked seventh at the start of the playoffs,  has gone this far to challenge the top playoff squad.

Macklin, the energetic replacement to the ineffective Herbert Hill, has become an absent commodity for the Kings, held to a series average 12 points after being allowed to take only 15 attempts in the first two games.

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“He doesn’t know what to do anymore,” Tenorio said of their import. “He’s gotten frustrated, because no matter how hard he tries, the Alaska defense is there. No, there’s nothing wrong with him physically, they (Aces) just have his number.”

TAGS: Alaska Aces, Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, Basketball, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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