It’s on.

The Alaska Aces start the defense of their Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup crown when they battle the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters 8 p.m., March 5, Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Aces will be bannered by reigning PBA Best Import Rob Dozier when they take on Tropang Texters with National Basketball Association D-League standout Richard Howell.

The Aces are eager to start the conference with Dozier in tow. They will be coming from a successful stint in the Cebu where they bagged the 77th Cebu City Charter Day Cup.

Participating in the brief three-day tournament were the Tropang Texters, the Global Port Batang Pier and the Tagoloan-Natumolan Tigers.

The Aces have already tested the mettle of the Tropang Texters. Alaska relied on Dozier to lead them past Talk N Text, 79-70, last February 22, at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex.

As usual, Dozier worked hard at both ends of the court. He led the scoring parade for Alaska with 17 points while team co-captain Dondon Hontiveros added 12 markers. Irrepressible Calvin Abueva also chipped in 12 points. Jvee Casio likewise contributed in double figures with 10 points.

Talk N Text import Howell acquitted himself well in the game by leading the Tropang Texters with his 16 points. Ranidel De Ocampo chipped in 14 markers, but he was the only other Talk N Text player to score in double figures.

The Aces started their triumphant campaign in Cebu with a convincing 87-79 victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier in Day 1 of competition of the 77th Cebu City Charter Day Cup on February 21.

The hard-working Dozier led the team with 19 points. Big guard Cyrus Baguio chipped in 14 markers. Cassio added 12 points.

To cap their successful campaign in Cebu the Aces leaned on the late-game heroics of veteran big man Sonny Thoss to beat back the spirited challenge of the Tagoloan-Natumolan Tigers, 96-86, February 23 at the Cebu Coliseum.

Thoss again stepped up as the team’s primary inside offensive option as he scored eight of his 17 points in the final five minutes to tow the team to victory.

Alaska Aces import Rob Dozier mocks the defense of Talk N Text reinforcement Richard Howell as he scores from just underneath the goal during their game in the 77th Cebu City Charter Day Cup won by the Aces. The Aces battle the Tropang Texters March 5, Wednesday.

Alaska Aces import Rob Dozier mocks the defense of Talk N Text reinforcement Richard Howell as he scores from just underneath the goal during their game in the 77th Cebu City Charter Day Cup won by the Aces. The Aces battle the Tropang Texters March 5, Wednesday.

Alaska Aces rookie Ryan Buenafe drives strong to the hoop as he barrels past three Talk N Text Tropang Texters defenders during the 77th Cebu City Charter Day Cup won by the Aces. The Aces battle the Tropang Texters March 5, Wednesday.

Alaska Aces rookie Ryan Buenafe drives strong to the hoop as he barrels past three Talk N Text Tropang Texters defenders during the 77th Cebu City Charter Day Cup won by the Aces. The Aces battle the Tropang Texters March 5, Wednesday.

Alaska Aces big man Sonny Thoss pivots inside the paint while being kneed and elbowed by Talk N Text defender Kelly Williams and double-teamed by Talk N Text forward Harvey Carey during a PBA game. The Aces battle the Tropang Texters March 5, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Alaska Aces big man Sonny Thoss pivots inside the paint while being kneed and elbowed by Talk N Text defender Kelly Williams and double-teamed by Talk N Text forward Harvey Carey during a PBA game. The Aces battle the Tropang Texters March 5, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.