ALASKA seeks to sustain its early surge as it takes on resurgent Meralco for the solo lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Coming off a hard-earned three-point win over defending champion Rain or Shine last Sunday that highlights their ongoing four-game winning streak, the Aces face another tough test in a Bolts side that has turned its season around following a disappointing Philippine Cup.
“Meralco is back,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “They are tough, well coached, and have a mountain of an import. We will have to not only work as hard as we can but we will also have to be prepared for a bunch of different looks and adjustments from Coach Norman (Black).”
“It will really be a battle for us,” he added.
It would’ve been a battle of undefeated squads had Bolts won against San Miguel Beer last Sunday when the Beermen gave them a reality check and snapped their four-game win streak.
Still, the matchup that tips off at 5:15 p.m. promises to be equally exciting as it features two imports who have been the right fit for their respective teams so far.
It seems third time’s the charm for the Aces as third-choice Cory Jefferson has been what the doctor ordered for the team, while Alex Stepheson has been the anchor the Bolts had missed in the all-Filipino conference.
“We’re coming off of a three-and-eight all-Filipino conference, and we’re four-and-one right now, so we’ll just continue to concentrate on the positives and try to win the next game,” Black said.
An encounter between winless teams precedes the marquee matchup as GlobalPort fields new import Malcolm White against Blackwater led by Greg Smith at 3 o’clock.