Ginebra seeks to sustain hot streak sans Japeth Aguilar vs Alaska in lone game in almost a month
Tim Cone and Alex Compton will have to make key adjustments with their respective defense anchors on loan to Gilas. 

BARANGAY Ginebra tries to make the most of its only game in almost a month – without its best big man – as it tangles with Alaska on Sunday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

San Miguel Beer losing its first game in six outings last Friday has left the Gin Kings as the league’s hottest team, having won their last four games after starting the conference with a loss.

But the league’s most popular team’s momentum is starting to wear off as the Gin Kings are in the middle of a dry schedule that has them playing just one game in 25 days. After facing the full-court-pressing Aces, the Gin Kings go on another break of almost two weeks as they won’t take the court again until May 19 against Rain or Shine.

“It’s been a tough grind trying to stay sharp during this long All-Star break, and it is especially important to be sharp against Alaska’s pressure defense,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said on the eve of the game that tips off at 6:45 p.m.

Apart from trying to break the Aces’ press, the Gin Kings will also have to come up with a solid defensive game plan without Japeth Aguilar, who’s on loan to Gilas Pilipinas.

“Losing Japeth’s presence as a backside defender and rim protector puts a lot of pressure on our defense to be perfect,” Cone said. “Japeth makes up for a lot of our mistakes. But we’re fortunate we’re only losing him for one game.

“We’ll do our best to get through this one unscathed without him,” the champion coach added.

The Aces will also have to make do without their own Gilas standout in Calvin Abueva as they aim to arrest a two-game skid and improve their 4-2 win-loss record.

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Blackwater goes for a second straight win and third in nine outings as it faces new-look Mahindra, which is in second to last place at 1-7, earlier at 4:30 p.m. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos