Aces await hungry Govs’ Cup Finals foe
Whichever team joins it in the Finals, Alaska will be battling a hungry foe for the PBA Governors’ Cup crown.
After completing a sweep of Star and their former coach on Sunday night, the Aces became the first team to make the championship series and will be having the luxury of a decent rest when the best-of-seven showdown starts.
San Miguel Beer defeated Rain or Shine for a 2-1 lead on Monday night, but their side of the Final Four will not end until Wednesday at the earliest, giving Alaska the time to heal some battered bodies.
But whoever advances will be a handful for the Aces, if the hunger factor is considered.
Seven classic games
The Beermen won the Philippine Cup in seven classic games against the Aces earlier in the year before bombing out horribly in the elimination round of the Commissioner’s Cup and getting a lot of flak for it.
San Miguel would want to atone for that early exit but the squad’s biggest driving force at this stage could be its determination to prove that its Philippine Cup conquest was no fluke.
Alaska was in command of that conference’s Game 7 until Arwind Santos hit a booming triple with under 50 seconds left that turned things around.
More determined Painters
If Rain or Shine manages to advance, the Elasto Painters will be playing in their second title series this season and will be all the more determined since they had lost the Commissioner’s Cup title, also in a great seven-game series, to Talk ‘N Text.
And if the Painters do make it, there is one man in their roster who would want to prove a thing or two against Alaska.
Wendell McKines saw action in the league for the first time with the Aces in 2013. He suited up in this same tournament but failed to lead Alaska past the elimination round.
That ouster came a conference after the Aces won their 14th league championship with the prolific Rob Dozier, and McKines never got a call back from Alaska.
The Painters took a chance on McKines this season and the import immediately went to work and turned in excellent numbers.
Rain or Shine should have been 0-2 down going into last night’s game if not for McKines, who scored a career-high 53 points on Saturday night that was topped by the defensive play of the game in a 113-110 win over the Beermen.
He is now one of the frontrunners for the Best Import award, a recognition that is sure to pump him up some more.