A PIECE of the lead is at stake when Alaska and Blackwater clash in a crucial PBA Governors Cup game on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces and Elite hold similar 6-2 records, with the winner of the 6:45 p.m. match joining co-leaders Magnolia Pambansang Manok and defending champion Barangay Ginebra on top of the standings.
The two teams are coming off contrasting outings.
The Aces escaped past Columbian Dyip, 104-94, while the Elite were battered by the Hotshots, 133-97.
Despite the win over the lowly Dyip, Alaska coach Alex Compton said the Aces need to play even better against the Elite, who he said the ‘whole basketball world in the Philippines has been noticing how well they are playing.’
“We better be different or that’s going to be a hard game for us,” said Compton, who lamented how his team was too reliant on import Mike Harris in the win over Columbian.
“It’s going to be a hard game for good, but if we play this way, it’s not going to be a good result,” he added. “That’s a massive game for us.”
Equally important is the 4:30 p.m. curtain raiser between Meralco Bolts and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, two teams that are making a late run for a shot at a quarterfinals berth.
After a slow start to their campaign, the Bolts are now picking up the pieces by winning two games in a row, including a huge one over Magnolia last Friday, 94-88.
In contrast, the Elasto Painters were ambushed by the Dyip, 100-84, in a setback that certainly hurt their playoffs bid.
The Meralco win allowed the team to improve at 3-6, ahead of Rain or Shine at 2-5.
“Rain or Shine is also trying to stay alive, so it would be a crucial game for them as well as us,” said Meralco coach Norman Black