MERALCO is looking to complete a "hat-trick" of wins over what Ryan Gregorio considers elite PBA teams when the Bolts clash with Alaska in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Gregorio believes a win over Commissioner’s Cup titlist Alaska would be a big achievement after earlier handing preseason favorite Ginebra its only loss, 100-87, and beating Governors Cup champion San Mig Super, 72-64.
“We must take care of business. We are playing well against elite teams. Now, we have to complete the hat-trick because against Petron, we were two possessions away,” said Gregorio, who considers Alaska a dangerous squad despite the Aces’ 2-5 win-loss record three weeks into the PBA’s 39th season.
The Bolts (3-4) look to put the clamps early on the Aces in their collision on Wednesday.
Gametime is at 8 p.m.
Meralco is coming off a 73-77 loss to league-leading Petron during the season’s first road game in Dipolog City but Gregorio said they will have to forget about their tough road loss since a win against Alaska can keep them in the middle part of the standings.
The Bolts are without injured Fil-American forward Cliff Hodge, but forward Reynel Hugnatan, Jared Dillinger, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Gary David and John Wilson have been holding the fort well.
“Hopefully, we can do the little things to turn the negatives into positives like limiting turnovers, shoot better from the free throw line and control the rebounds. These are three fundamental things that we must get better against Alaska,” he added.
On the other hand, Alaska coach Luigi Trillo expects his veterans led by Sonny Thoss, Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio and sophomore forward Calvin Abueva to come out with fire in their eyes as they try to arrest the decline.
“Seeing our lineup, we’ve got a lot of competitiveness on these guys,” said Trillo. “We’ve got seven games (left in the elimination round), now the work has to come now and also have better attention to details.”
The Aces have lost back-to-back games, their recent defeat coming at the hands of second-year team Globalport Batang Pier, 84-94.