THE break between tournaments was so short that wounds from the previous conference have yet to heal, at least for Vic Manuel, who longs to get back at their tormentors when the Alaska Aces and Star Hotshots clash on Wednesday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Vic Manuel is still hurting from the Aces’ getting swept by the Hotshots in the Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals and said the Aces will try to use that as motivation against the Hotshots.
The Aces are favored this time as they enter the game in solo second spot with a 3-1 win-loss card, while the Hotshots are in the bottom with two others at 1-3.
“Gusto namin makabawi sa kanila (Hotshots). Hindi man lang kami nakapanalo sa kanila sa best-of-three nung quarterfinals kaya todo paghahanda namin sa kanila,” Manuel told Spin.ph on Tuesday before the Aces’ practice.
Alaska got off to a hot start and won three straight before suffering a close 104-103 setback to Talk ‘N Text last week.
“Nakapagpahinga kami ng maayos, di tulad nung last time na nag-Finals kami (in the Philippine Cup) and then, sa second conference, lahat kami pagod. So tingin ko nakabawi na kami,” he added.
Meanwhile, Calvin Abueva cautioned the Aces against complacency especially against a solid team like the Hotshots.
“Mas mahigpit ito na laban dahil galing sila sa talo. So sigurado ko, babawi iyan sa amin,” said the ‘Beast,’ who is averaging career-low numbers of just 7.0 points and 6.2 rebounds while nursing a right ankle injury this conference.
The former PBA Rookie of the Year said the Aces are actually playing better as a team, with import Romeo Travis emerging as one of the leaders.
“Malaking bagay si Romeo kasi beterano na rin siya. Kaya napapasunod kami sa kanya,” he added.