ALASKA and Tropang TNT hope to have made the most of their short preparation as they face off in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals starting on Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The third-seeded Aces and sixth-seeded Texters sealed their playoff pairing just last Friday, giving them only one day to prepare specifically against each other ahead of Game One of the best-of-three series that tips off at 3 p.m.
“We’ll just do the best we can,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “It’s a players’ game already.”
The defending champion Texters prepared for a different Aces side that paraded Rob Dozier for the first time this conference last Friday in Alaska’s 104-98 win over NLEX.
Shane Edwards had been filling in for Dozier, who had been out with plantar fasciitis.
“Mas accustomed si Dozier sa sistema, I guess,” Uichico said. “But it’s hard to judge kasi first game lang naman. We’ll see.”
The champion coach has his own reliable import in David Simon to match up with Dozier, while star forward Ranidel de Ocampo and rookie big men Troy Rosario and Mo Tautuaa take on Aces workhorses Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel.
The Texters, who lost their eliminations round closer against San Miguel Beer, 104-98, last Friday, also get a boost from superstar Jayson Castro, who returns after missing the game against the Beermen after nursing a bum stomach.