Surging Aces face Hotshots
What could probably be the best full court defense in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup will be put to the test today when Alaska battles Star for a share of the elimination round lead at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After dismantling GlobalPort with clinical precision last week, the Aces take the floor at 7 p.m. against the struggling Hotshots, looking for win No. 5 in six games to join idle San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine on top.
Alaska’s trump card, ever since Alex Compton took over last season, has been its unrelenting pressure defense that meets the enemy starting from the inbound, something which the Batang Pier were made to feel.
Against the Hotshots, that defense is again expected to come to fore to delay the arrival of the ball to Star’s battery of scorers led by two-time MVP James Yap and Peter June Simon.
The Alaska offense is no pushover either, with firepower to come from veterans Cyrus Baguio, Dondon Hontiveros and JV Casio.
Calvin Abueva will again be the bundle of energy for the Aces, whose only loss of the young season was a 93-92 decision to Barangay Ginebra in Dubai three weeks ago.
Sister squads NLEX and Meralco clash in the 4:15 p.m. contest, with the Road Warriors trying to keep the leaders within arm’s length and the Bolts seeking to creep out of the cellar.
Meanwhile, Mahindra consultant Joe Lipa remains suspended after failing to resolve issues with commissioner Chito Narvasa.
Lipa was canned after reacting to Narvasa’s statements that criticized Mahindra playing-coach Manny Pacquiao.
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