UNBEATEN Alaska faces former import Wendell McKines and Rain or Shine as it seeks a share of the early lead in the PBA Governors Cup Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Aces opened the season-ending conference with victories over Blackwater and Barangay Ginebra, and will try their best to keep the team’s unbeaten streak intact against the Elasto Painters in their 7 p.m. match.
Alaska (2-0) is just half-a-game behind idle leader Globalport (3-0).
Alaska coach Alex Compton, however, expects rough sailing against a Rain or Shine side that is coming off a 104-91 loss to San Miguel Beer in its debut.
Compton noted Rain or Shine’s eight semifinal appearances in the last nine conferences speak of volume of the team’s talent and consistency.
“Rain or Shine has been consistently one of the best teams in the PBA over the past few years,” Compton said.
“They play hard and they play as a team. I think with their depth and their rotation of players, they are a threat every conference.”
Serving as subplot to the match is McKines, the Rain or Shine import, going up against the Aces for the very first time since last playing for the franchise in 2013.
McKines had a quiet debut of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Elasto Painters’ loss to the Beermen, numbers which pale in comparison to his 29.7 points and 15.0 rebounds average during his stint with the Aces two years ago.
But Compton said it wouldn’t be fair to judge the wide-bodied import in just one game, knowing fully-well the capabilities of the former New Mexico standout.
“I also know very well Wendell McKines is an excellent import and we have to be ready for a big game from him. It will be a battle for sure,” he added.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao expects everybody in his team to settle down and adjust alongside McKines as the Elasto Painters continue to work on getting their rhythm back.
“Overall, we’re still rusty and we were not able to get into our regular rhythm plus di pa tumugma yung laro ni Wendell kaya medyo hirap talaga,” explained Guiao.