The Alaska Aces play their first game of the 2013 Philippine Basketball Association Governors Cup when they battle the Talk N Text Tropang Texters 7:30 p.m., Aug. 21, Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After winning the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup the Aces finally start their quest for back-to-back titles hoping to grab the Governors Cup championship as well.
Alaska Aces coach Luigi Trillo believes that the team still has a ways to go but promised that they are working their hardest and will give a good account of themselves come the games.
“We have to cram everything in. There is a lot to be desired from our team as a whole especially at the defensive end. In our three preseason losses we got hammered in the first half by big margins so we need to see that and hopefully fix that,” said coach Trillo.
The Aces lost three of five practice games before the start of the Governors Cup. They lost to San Mig Coffee, 114-118; Petron Blaze, 77-90; and Barako Bull, 97-102. The Aces beat the Air21 Express, 94-85; and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 98-95.
The Alaska mentor said he preferred more practice time before the start of the conference but expressed confidence that his players will step up to the challenge when the games commence.
“Obviously that time is not enough to be at our best. But knowing the competitive nature of our guys they will hopefully push themselves to try to overcome certain weaknesses we may have to start the season,” said Trillo.
The coming Governors Cup will be a short conference with the 10 PBA teams playing a single round robin elimination. The top eight ball clubs advance to the quarterfinal playoffs and the bottom two ballclubs are eliminated outright.
The top four teams will hold a twice-to-beat advantage against the fifth to eighth placed teams in the quarterfinals.
The four winning teams pair off to battle in the best-of-five semifinals.
The championship will then be a best-of-seven showdown.
The Alaska mentor said he was impressed with the offensive game of new Alaska import Wendell Mckines. He said he expects his import to become even better as the conference goes on.
“Wendell is very skilled. He can do a lot in the offensive end. I am more concerned about his rebounding for us and him becoming a defensive inside presence also. That should be first on his list. We are a defensive team first,” said Trillo.
Mckines topped the Aces in scoring in all five practice games. He was virtually unstoppable when he had the ball inside the paint. He also showed a deft touch and could score from outside as well.
“Wendell seems to be getting in game shape but I know he is still not there yet. I expect him to push himself. The motivation has to come from within otherwise he will not be at his peak form. Same with the other guys,” said Trillo.
The Alaska Aces measure success by titles won. They have high expectations especially after winning the past PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
But winning a second title will not be easy. The Alaska mentor said working hard will not be enough. They will have to work smart as well, and know what areas need to be addressed so that they can become the best team in the league this conference.
“We need to understand what is our team identity. The players know that already when I ask them but for this to work we have to have committed team members. They need to throw their own personal agendas away. We is greater than me,” said coach Trillo.
The Aces want to win back-to-back PBA titles and their 15th overall this coming PBA Governors Cup. And the quest starts Wednesday, Aug. 21 when the Aces face the Talk N Tropang Texters at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.