Alaska targets clincher today | Inquirer Sports

Alaska targets clincher today

04:28 AM June 26, 2014

RAYMOND Almazan (right) and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters try to stay alive against Gabby Espinas and the Alaska Aces. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Alaska goes for the kill against Rain or Shine today when they clash in Game 4 of their PBA Governors’ Cup Final Four series at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Coming off a 104-94 win on Tuesday, the odds are stacked in favor of the Aces, who can complete their magnificent rise from the ashes with a victory and get a shot at their first title in the post-Luigi Trillo era.

Alaska had a tumultuous start to this tournament with Trillo leaving after just two games and management tapping the untested Alex Compton as new coach.

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Cliff’s edge

The Aces made the quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat privilege—thanks in large part to the Elasto Painters—before rebounding from their worst loss in franchise history to push Rain or Shine on cliff’s edge.

Game time is 8 p.m. and the Aces hope to take the momentum of that Game 3 win.

“Everyone who knows the PBA knows that this series is far from being over,” Compton said on Tuesday in anticipating a tough stand from the Painters tonight. “This (Game 3) victory would amount to nothing if we don’t win another game.”

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The winner of this series will advance to face either San Mig Coffee or Talk ‘N Text in another best-of-five affair for the title, with the Mixers again shooting for the clincher in Game 4 going on at press time.

Injured All-Star

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Henry Walker dominated when he needed to on Tuesday and the Alaska locals stepped up big time to frustrate the Painters, who played without injured All-Star guard Gabe Norwood.

The 6-foot-6 Norwood, coach Yeng Guiao’s prime defender, missed a second straight game. He was suited up for Game 3 but stayed on the bench because of a swollen right ankle.

Guiao could opt to gamble on Norwood today with the stakes so high, but their problem in Game 3 was their inability to figure out how to stop the Aces.

There were a total of six Aces in twin digits in Game 3.

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Arizona Reid also need to step up and counter Walker’s productions. The braided-haired Rain or Shine import had just 17 points and eight rebounds in the Game 3 loss.

TAGS: Alaska, Basketball, PBA Governors' Cup, Rain or Shine

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