The Alaska Aces face the defending champion San Mig Coffee Mixers in the 7:30 p.m. main game of the 2013 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.
The unbeaten Aces (5 wins, 0 loss) are on top of the standings while the Coffee Mixers (2-3) are tied in fifth place with the Meralco Bolts (2-3) and the Talk N Text Tropang Texters (2-3).
The other teams include the Petron Blaze Boosters (5-1), the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (4-1), the Barako Bull Energy Colas (3-3), the Global Port Batang Pier (2-4), the Air21 Express (1-4) and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-5).
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo cautioned his wards saying the Coffee Mixers are a better team than their record indicate. Last year’s best import Denzel Bowles and forward Joe Devance have rejoined the team which has won its last two games after dropping its first three.
“Denzel Bowles really changes that team and so does Joe Devance. The thing, though, is that San Mig Coffee has good one-on-one players but they somehow always find a way to play together and share the load. It is never about one person in that team,” said Trillo.
The Coffee Mixers replaced ineffective import Matt Rogers with Bowles and have since returned to form. San Mig Coffee is now playing like the team that won this conference last PBA season.
“We have to find ways to take away match-up problems. Their players can isolate in every position from (Mark) Barroca to (James) Yap, (PJ) Simon and even (Marc) Pingris. And they also tear teams apart sharing the basketball very well. They don’t force things. Everything is within their rhythm. They’re pretty solid, especially with Bowles back,” Trillo said.
The Aces have not lost a game since yielding the semifinal duel against the Tropang Texters which went the full seven game distance in the Philippine Cup last conference.
The Aces were particularly impressive in their last two games. They trounced Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Lanao Del Norte last February 23 by 15 points, 84-69. The Aces did even better against the fearsome Tropang Texters who were roundly beaten last March 1 by 23 points, 92-69.