WITH the intensity expected to turn up a notch in the title series, Calvin Abueva says Alaska can be physical if necessary.
The Aces are facing an Elasto Painters side that’s regarded as the most physical team in the league, but Alaska also has no shortage of players who are used to rough plays, foremost Abueva, whose antics have frustrated opponents.
Now the two teams brace for a tough matchup starting with Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Sa nakikita niyo ngayon, hindi pa ba physical yung nangyayari?” Abueva said with a smile in the pre-finals press con at PBA Café on Thursday. “Gusto mo pa dagdagan? Kulang pa ba?”
“Pero seryoso, magandang laban ‘to talaga,” he was quick to add. “Itong finals na ‘to, wala ng finals na mas tataas dito. Buhos na dapat dito dahil trophy na yung pinaglalabanan dito.”
Even fellow workhorse Vic Manuel, still questionable for this series due to a calf injury, is already preparing for a rough series against the E-Painters, particularly Beau Belga.
“Alam naman natin kung gaano ka-physical ang Rain or Shine, ‘di ba?” Manuel said. “So kung makakalaro man ako, siguro paghahandaan ko talaga si Beau.”
But it seems the E-Painters haven’t been as physical as everybody’s used to seeing them.
“Sabi nga ni (media bureau) boss Willie (Marcial), lagyan daw ng konting anghang yung series na ‘to,” Belga said.
“Boss, pag kami nag-fine, bahala ka na ah. Sagot mo yan eh,” he added with a chuckle. “Basta kami maglalaro na lang.”
But RoS big man Raymond Almazan noted nothing is personal even as games get physical.
“Trabaho lang, walang personalan,” the 6-foot-8 beanpole said. “Sa labas ng court, magkakaibigan naman kami.”
“Tsaka sayang 'yung bonus (pag nag-champion),” he added. “Alam naman nila yun. Lahat kami, nandito para sa trabaho.”