ALASKA takes first crack at the tallest import in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup when it tests Bruno Sundov and Rain or Shine in the curtain raiser of a rare Saturday doubleheader at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Aces coach Luigi Trillo admitted being curious of how his Aces, bannered by former Memphis Tigers Robert Dozier, would fare against the Elasto Painters and the 7-foot-3 Sundov when they cross paths in their 5:45 p.m. encounter.
The 32-year-old Sundov, is the tallest among this year’s batch of imports, and was selected in the second round (35th overall) by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1998 NBA draft. He posted impressive numbers of 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks in Rain or Shine’s three tune-up games.
“I can shoot threes, because that’s what I do for some teams I played for. I think in this team they’ll gonna need me to play under the basket because they need some height, but if I’m open, I won’t fail to take it (three-point shot),” said Sundov, who grew up idolizing former Chicago Bull member Toni Kukoc.
Rain or Shine is likewise coming off a runner-up finish in the last Philippine Cup, where the Elasto Painters were swept by eventual champion Talk `N Text Tropang Texters, an experience coach Yeng Guiao would rather want his team to forget.
But Trillo is confident about his Aces, especially after finishing runner-up to the Petron Boosters in the recent Sinulog Cup, a stint which allowed the team to gauge its import and see how prepared they are for the mid-season conference.
Alaska’s resident big man Sonny Thoss and Dozier are expected to have their hands full containing Sundov, whose long arms and decent touch from the perimeter could prove to be a nightmare for the Aces defensively.
It would also be of big interest to see how Alaska’s energetic 6-foot-1 rookie Calvin Abueva would do against Sundov and Rain or Shine’s battle-tested big boys of Beau Belga, JR Quinahan, the vastly improved Jervy Cruz, and Larry Rodriguez.
Abueva averaged 17 points during the Sinulog Cup as Trillo began the rookie’s transition from playing the power forward position to the `3’ spot.