A RECHARGED Alaska returns to the grind as it tangles with GlobalPort for a share of the lead in the Smart-Bro PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Getting a much-needed break from competitive action for almost two weeks after back-to-back games in Dubai, the Aces are expected to jump off the gates when they take on the Batang Pier at 4:15 p.m. with the winner joining San Miguel Beer on top with a 4-1 win-loss card.
The Aces came one possession away from pulling off a remarkable sweep in the grueling stretch in the Middle East. Just a day after surviving Mahindra, 98-94, Alaska saw themselves in another tiring battle that came down the wire as they rallied from a huge double-digit deficit before surrendering a 93-92 decision to Ginebra.
If they had the energy to perform admirably in that schedule without much rest, what more if the Aces are rejuvenated?
“I don’t think and I don’t know that another team in the league – on a back to back in that situation – would look less tired at the end of the game,” Aces coach Alex Compton told Spin.ph. “Our guys are really in tremendous shape to be able to pull that off.”
Typifying the Aces’ boundless energy are pesky forwards Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel.
The Aces, though, are bracing for another tough outing against a Batang Pier side that owns arguably the league’s best backcourt duo in back-to-back Player of the Week awardee Stanley Pringle and crowd darling Terrence Romeo.
The face-off will be the first for Romeo and Abueva since they made a splash in Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in the Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China.
Talk ‘N Text, tied with Alaska and GlobalPort at 3-1, likewise vies for a piece of the lead as it face sister team NLEX (2-2) in the second game at 7 o’clock.