ALASKA shoots for a share of the lead in the PBA Philippine Cup as it collides with Talk ‘N Text in Tuesday’s main game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces opened the season with a smashing 93-73 victory over reigning champion Purefoods Hotshots last week, and they are certainly looking to ride on the momentum going to their 7 p.m. encounter with the Tropang Texters.
A win will send Alaska in a tie with early league-leaders Ginebra and San Miguel Beer, which currently tote similar 2-0 (win-loss) cards.
The Aces’ defense had a lot to do with the 20-point rout of the Hotshots after forcing the opposition to commit a total of 24 turnovers that led to an eye-popping 17-2 edge in turnover points.
But the lopsided win hardly impressed Alaska’s resident slotman Sonny Thoss.
“It’s only one game. We don’t want to get too excited, but we’ll just need to prepare for the next game,” said Thoss, who scored nine points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Purefoods.
Although the Tropang Texters dropped their season-opening game against Ginebra, 101-81, the team managed to readily recover following a vengeful 103-81 demolition of sister team NLEX last week.
Veteran forward Ranidel de Ocampo said everybody in the team is reacquainting itself again with the team’s patented ‘dribble-drive’ offense, which new coach Jong Uichico decided to once more adopt after taking the reins from Norman Black a few months back.
“Kasi nawala yung dribble-drive nung nakaraan eh. Di na namin tinatakbo yun eh (under Black),” said De Ocampo, who had four points, two rebounds, and a block shot in the team’s win over NLEX following a one-game absence after taking a leave of absence owing to his offseason stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
“Ngayon lang uli kay coach Jong, so siguro, ibalik lang namin yung ginagawa namin kung paano kami maglaro dati.”
Talk ‘N Text showed better ball movement against NLEX as proof of its 22 assists, while showing a lot of energy on the defensive end by enjoying an 11-2 advantage in steals.