ALASKA and Globalport collide in a crucial match whose outcome could have a major impact in the two teams’ playoff bid in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup.
Both teams are coming off bitter losses two days ago going to their 3 p.m. encounter at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces and the Batang Pier are currently tied at eighth and ninth spots with their similar anemic 4-8 cards.
Globalport star forward Jay Washington though, has been ruled out for the game after suffering a partial tear on his plantar fascia during the first quarter of the team’s 87-98 loss to Petron the last time.
Ritchie Ticzon, the young interim coach of Globalport, admitted that without the 6-foot-7 Washington, he is banking on his mixture of young and veteran core of players to step up, especially on the defensive end as the Batang Pier try to break free from a five-game losing streak and get the all important victory.
Jondan Salvador and Kelly Nabong are expected to get extended minutes of the floor in Washington’s absence, and so with rookie center Justin Chua and comebacking big man Eric Menk.
“We just have to be consistent in playing good defense and in executing our plays,” Ticzon said on the eve of the team’s match.
Globalport clobbered Alaska, 94-84 during their first encounter last December 13.
But things will be different when these two struggling teams meet again since Globalport will definitely misses Washington’s conference averages of 19.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest.
For Alaska, which is still smarting from a 65-74 loss to Meralco, coach Luigi Trillo is hoping his veterans led by Cyrus Baguio and Dondon Hontiveros and last season’s Rookie of the Year Calvin Abueva will come out with a strong bounce-back game especially with the Aces’ playoff hopes now hanging in the balance.
“It’s (playoff chances) still out there for us. We don’t want to give up. We got our asses kicked (by Meralco). They outplayed us, we got to be better on Sunday, that’s the main thing,” explained Trillo.