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With health woes and all, the Alaska Aces shoot for playoff top seeding while the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings look to keep their hot run in chase of a quarterfinals twice-to-beat advantage.
“Magandang laban ito,” said Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua of the match pitting the tournament leader and the league’s hottest team on a six-game streak.
The Aces and the Kings face off in what could be a slam-bang duel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Nabawasan na naman kami ng isang player with Billy Mamaril sustaining a fractured hand. Pero wala akong dudang pupukpok pa rin ng husto ang Ginebra,” said Chua.
Mamaril suffered the injury in their 91-90 squeaker over the Meralco Bolts Sunday, their sixth consecutive victory and seventh in 12 games in all, moving the team within a game of second-running Rain or Shine at 8-4.
“Actually, di namin iniintindi ang team standings at ang schedule. Gusto lang namin mag-focus on the particular game that we’re to play,” said Chua.
The Aces have their sights set on No. 1 spot at 9-3 with two games left to play.
They secure top finish in the elims with a win versus the Kings or in one of their last two assignments.
Of course, the Aces can’t take for granted the Ginebra team that has rallied from the cellar to be in contention for the Top Two.
“It just gets harder for us in this game versus Ginebra after we faced San Mig Coffee, Petron and Rain or Shine in our four-game killer schedule. Though we’re on top, we’re not the favorites in this game,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
“LA Tenorio is playing like the best point guard this conference. We need to find ways to slow him down. (Vernon) Macklin has the best win-loss record among imports and he is making his shots and free throws,” Trillo added.
Chua, for his part, pays tribute to his players who just keep on fighting even minus top gun Mark Caguioa.
Despite a roster decimated all the more by the loss of Mamaril, Chua is confident his team would still come out with an all-out effort.
Alaska actually also has its health woes with injuries to Sonny Thoss, Jayvee Casio and Cyrus Baguio.
“But even with those injuries to our Big Three, we have won three of our last five games, so we will see,” said Trillo. (SB)
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sana mainjured ulit ang big 3 mo, coach trillo .......... para patas ang laban ...........
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