ALASKA is looking to regain its bearings and try to act as streak busters when it battles pace-setting Petron Blaze on Friday in a pivotal PBA Governors' Cup game at the Philsports Arena.
The Aces are currently in the bottom half of the standings with an even 3-3 (win-loss) record as they are coming off an 82-95 defeat at the hands of San Mig Coffee on Tuesday night.
Still, Alaska coach Luigi Trillo is confident the Aces have enough firepower to match up with the Boosters, the hottest team in the season-ending tournament after stringing up six straight wins in their last seven games.
The two teams tangle in the 7:30 p.m. main game.
Alaska will try to get the most from its wide-bodied import Wendell McKines along with big men Sonny Thoss, and Gabby Espinas.
But one thing going for the Aces is the good news that super rookie Calvin Abueva is suiting up for the Aces as X-ray revealed he only had a bone contusion on his lower back.
The 6-foot-3 Abueva skipped practice on Wednesday to rest his injured back during the Aces’ game against San Mig Coffee Tuesday. He failed to finish the game as his back stiffened midway in the fourth quarter.
During the same game, Trillo got ejected in the early stage of the fourth period after incurring a second technical foul.
The Alaska coach said he will have to try to do a better job coaching the team and setting a good example on his players, especially with the race for the top four spots in the quarterfinals heating up in the final week of the single-round eliminations.
The top four teams at the end of the eliminations earn twice-to-beat edge heading to the quarterfinals.
“I just have to be better (coaching). I wanted to win so bad (against San Mig) that I couldn’t control my emotions,” Trillo told Spin.ph after the team’s Thursday afternoon practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.
For Petron rookie coach Gee Abanilla, the game against the Aces is an opportunity to make some experiments especially since the Boosters have already secured a quarterfinal seat and a twice-to-beat incentive.
“We want to come out and learn new things. I think right now, we could experiment on things that we want to do offensively and defensively,” said Abanilla, whose team smashed Talk ‘N Text on Wednesday night, 122-88.
“That’s one luxury we have. We just want to learn the basic defensive principles we have.”