ALASKA ended a four-game losing streak on the day team manager Joaqui Trillo turned 65.
Hopefully, Lady Luck smiles again on the Aces when they travel to Dipolog City for a clash with lowly Global Port Batang Pier on Saturday in a PBA Philippine Cup Phoenix Road Game on Tour.
The lone provincial match is set at 6:30 p.m.
The Aces are coming off a morale-boosting 88-85 win over Meralco on Wednesday which came as a fitting birthday presence for their team manager. In doing so, they finally put an end to their losing skid and forged atie for fifth place with the Bolts, both with even 6-6 records.
Trillo didn’t throw a birthday blowout for the team, but his son, Luigi, the Alaska coach, said his father may do so in their game against the Batang Pier.
“Sa Dipolog na lang siguro, although kinantiyawan niya `yung mga players before the game (against Meralco),” said the smiling Alaska coach.
The Aces didn’t disappoint their team manager as they edged out a fighting Bolts side in a tightly-fought game marked by 13 deadlocks and 12 lead changes.
Rookie Calvin Abueva was the catalyst of the Aces’ huge win, submitting career-highs of 20 points and 18 rebounds in his first game back from a nasal viral infection.
“Calvin has been a warrior all his life. He’s nothing new to that, with San Sebastian, NLEX. He’s a winner,” said Trillo of the former NCAA Most Valuable Player.
And if Abueva’s monster game is not enough, Trillo believes the Aces have a lot more to give.
“There’s something we need to improve on as a team,” he admitted. “I don’t think we’re playing our best basketball.”
And certainly that’s bad news for a Global Port team which is currently at the bottom of the standings with a 1-10 record.
The Batang Pier are still mathematically in the running for a quarterfinals slot provided they sweep their last three remaining games, and no one among Air21 (4-8) and Barako Bull (3-8) reach win No. 5.
But the rookie franchise has been on a slump, losing their last seven games including a 101-92 setback against Meralco a week ago.