TWO of the hottest teams in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup seek to stretch their respective winning streaks as Alaska and Barangay Ginebra collide on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces and Gin Kings have won their last three games and one will stay hot, while the other is bound to cool off after both clubs face off at 7 p.m.
After starting the conference with two losses, the Gin Kings have been on a roll, the latest evidence a 104-86 dismantling of Mahindra in Antipolo last Wednesday.
“We talk about momentum a lot,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “It’s an important factor because you play a little bit better than what you are when you’re feeling good about each other and you’re on a roll, everything seems to click.”
“But it’s going to be tough to continue that momentum against Alaska,” he was quick to add of his former team. “They’re a terrifically tough team to beat.”
The two storied squads last met in November in a Philippine Cup road game in Dubai where the Gin Kings won by a mere point against a weary Aces side.
“We got them on the second of back-to-back games and we barely won,” Cone said on Tuesday. “No doubt, Alaska is one of the elite teams of the league and if we want to get to the next level, we’ll have to go through them.”
The Gin Kings had an entire week to prepare for the Aces, who are also coming off a convincing win, a 105-89 decision of Phoenix last Friday.
While Ginebra import Othyus Jeffers has been standing tall, it’s the revitalized play of LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar that has proved a major factor in the Gin Kings’ current success.
Shane Edwards has been splendidly filling in for Rob Dozier, while Vic Manuel and Calvin have never ceased to provide the Aces the energy.
Mahindra (3-2) and Phoenix (1-3) seek to bounce back from their respective losses to Ginebra and Alaska as they battle in the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m.