Alaska eyes sixth straight win as Magnolia tries to end two-game slide in Commissioner’s Cup
Alex Compton's Aces are running third, while Chito Victolero's Hotshots are in joint fifth. Jerome Ascano

ALASKA looks to continue its winning streak when it faces Magnolia on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces are in third place with a 5-1 win-loss slate entering their 6:50 p.m. match against the Hotshots.

Alaska looks to extend the streak even as it deals with some issues, including the Calvin Abueva sabbatical and injuries sustained by Jeron Teng in a parking lot melee.

Abueva has been suspended indefinitely by the team.

Hours after their win over Globalport last week, rookie Jeron Teng along with Rain or Shine big man Norbert Torres and MPBL player Thomas Torres suffered stab wounds from an attack at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Alaska coach Alex Compton said Alaska is dealing with the goings on outside the court in a professional manner.

“Seems like they are focused and ready to play,” said Compton. “They are pros. They know they have a job to do. We are just worried about match-ups, taking care of the ball, guarding Paul Lee, Justin Jackson, Barroca, and those things. We are excited to play.”

Magnolia, meanwhile, is on a two-game slide and holds a 3-3 record. The Hotshots replaced Curtis Kelly with Justin Jackson in time for the match against Alaska.

Despite Magnolia’s struggles, Compton is wary of what the Hotshots can do.

“We were in Dumaguete and I watched Meralco play Magnolia and I thought this is like a semifinal series. Both teams are playing so well. Magnolia is playing great. I know they are coming off a loss to Blackwater but I think they have been playing great,” said Compton.

“I have a lot of respect for Chito (Victolero) on what he is doing and they’ve got a new import. Justin Jackson is kinda an explosive import who is going to fit in with their pick-and-rolls and the way they attack. They are active on defense,” said Compton.

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Phoenix and Columbian face off at 4:30 p.m.

The Fuel Masters on a two-game skid following a 103-100 loss to Meralco on Friday. The Dyip are on a three-game slide, bowing to San Miguel, 129-117, on Wednesday.

 

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