ALASKA tries to ride the crest of its grind out win the last time as it tangles with two-time PBA Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text anew Sunday in Game Five of their semifinals showdown at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Game time is at 5 p.m.
The Aces managed to settle down and adjust to the officiating as officials called the game tight Friday night. The end result saw them converting their shots down the stretch to pull off the 104-99 Game Four victory.
The win allowed Alaska to tie the race-to-four series at 2-game apiece.
“I believe the team that plays good defense will win the game. I know they (Tropang Texters) will come out stronger (in Game Five), but for us, we just can’t be satisfied now. We need to regroup again and find ways to win,” Trillo said on the eve of Game Five.
No. 2 overall rookie pick Calvin Abueva has been a bundle of energy on the court for the Aces, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and four shot blocks in 34 minutes of play.
Though banged up in the series, Trillo said it’s important for his prized rookie to stay focused on the game and veer away from giving cheap fouls.
But the Alaska coach said as long as Abueva is focused, he can be a serious thorn on Talk 'N Text’s side because of his quickness and agility.
“Calvin’s quick. He’s like a (Manny) Pacquiao who gets you into so many angles, so when he’s hit or held down, the referees call a foul on them (Tropang Texters),” observed Trillo.
On the other hand, Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said they will have to make sure his team defends the three-point zone considering that Alaska’s shooters like guards Cyrus Baguio and playmaker JV Casio combined for six of the Aces’ 10 three-point baskets.
“They (Aces) did play well and hit the baskets from three. So we need to do a better job guarding the three-point line,” said Black.
The champion coach is also hopeful that officiating would improve come Game 5, as he felt there were some calls that favored the Aces the last time.