HOT and cold in the first conference, Alaska guns for the early lead today as it takes on NorthPort in the resumption of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
And if you ask Alaska coach Alex Compton what type of opponents his Aces are facing in the 4:30 p.m. encounter, he won’t go farther than citing the last Philippine Cup where the Batang Pier, he said, had shown they could compete.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a battle,” said Compton. “Coach Pido (Jarencio) had so many good game plans last conference, they had many good things where they lost on breaks.”
The truth is, the Aces barely made the playoff round in the last Philippine Cup, where they even lost to the Batang Pier, 94-84. He would also make mention of NorthPort’s consistent top gunners in Stanley Pringle, Sean Anthony and Mo Tautuaa as their likely concern in their meeting.
“Pringle at most nights is the single best guard in the country. Sean Anthony had an MVP type conference and Mo (Tautuaa) was in the running for BPC,” stressed Compton.
The Aces launched their campaign in the midseason conference on a high note last Sunday, outplaying Columbian Dyip, 111-98, in a victory where import Christopher Daniels, Chris Banchero and Simon Enciso combined for 64 points.
Daniels also had 16 rebounds in a yeoman job for the Aces, who are bidding to improve their last conference’s showing.
The good news for the Aces though is that the Batang Pier are likely to play without Pringle, and two others – Garvo Lanete and Bradwyn Guinto – because on injuries. Jarencio confirmed that Pringle is down with foot injury, Lanete is nursing a sprained ankle and Guinto has just undergone knee surgery.
“We are preparing against them (Aces), but we have a lot of injured players now like Stanley Pringle, Bradwyn Guinto and Garvo Lanete. These three players won’t play,” said Jarencio.
Pringle, Jarencio said, will return to action on Saturday against Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
“Of course, we are still optimistic and we don’t think negatively,” said Jarencio, who is counting on import Prince Ibeh.
Talk ‘N Text tests its import Terrence Jones as it seeks for an auspicious start in the tournament against sister team NLEX in the main tussle at 7 p.m.
“We will see it tomorrow how our import (Jones) adjusts in the PBA. We will be more particular on our defensive schemes so hopefully we win more games,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena.
As part of their preparation, the KaTropa had gone to Tagaytay where they held Team Building/Training for a couple of days.
“(We’re) preparing really hard for this coming Commissioners Cup. Hope to win more games,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena.