ALASKA’s frontline gets a much-needed boost as its two star forwards are set to suit up on Wednesday when the Aces seek to barge into the PBA Philippine Cup win column in a match against GlobalPort at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Calvin Abueva makes his season debut after recovering from a quadriceps injury, while Vic Manuel returns from a one-game suspension as the Aces aim for their first win in three games.
“Calvin will play some (minutes),” Aces coach Alex Compton said on the eve of their 4:15 p.m. encounter against the Batang Pier.
Point guard Ping Exciminiano is also back after that team-imposed one-game ban he served after playing in an unsanctioned charity game with Manuel last week.
Rome dela Rosa is likewise back after being sidelined also with the same quadriceps tear as Abueva, although Sonny Thoss and Noy Baclao remain out with knee injuries.
The Aces definitely need all the help they can get as they face a Batang Pier side that has surprisingly emerged as the only remaining unbeaten team at this juncture of the all-Filipino conference, winning its first two games behind, as usual, Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle.
“Global has an incredibly potent offense,” Compton said. “We have got to defend Terrence and Stanley as a team, but then we have to worry about the veterans in this year with KG (Canaleta), JR (Quinahan), Mike (Cortez), and Aaron (Aban).”