THE second dish that the Philippine Basketball Association will serve in Dubai, UAE is a mouth-watering one as storied franchises and rivals Alaska and Barangay Ginebra lock horns in an anticipated bout.
Still unbeaten as of this report, Alaska (2-0) has no plans of removing its foot off the gas pedal even as it faces a stiff test against the still winless Ginebra (0-2) at 12 midnight (Philippine time) at the Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai.
At the moment, the Aces are fighting Mahindra in the same venue in the first of two offerings from the PBA in the basketball hotbed in the middle east.
Regardless of the result of that, Alaska still wants to keep its place in the upper echelon and a win against the struggling Ginebra squad will assure that.
As for the Gin Kings, they are certainly in a must-win situation as they badly want to avoid a disastrous 0-3 start.
After Barangay Ginebra threw away a 21-point lead and eventually lost to Barako Bull, 82-79, last Saturday, the Gin Kings showed that they have still yet to find the winning formula under new coach Tim Cone.
“We still don’t know how to win at this point,” said Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar. “We need to learn that as quickly as we can. We cannot fall behind even more.”
A possible win against the Aces will give the Gin Kings a much-needed morale-booster.
But that’s easier said than done against the Aces, who are picking up where they left off from last season as their trademark team-play is giving them a good start this conference.
For tomorrow, the action shifts back to Manila as a Sunday double-header is slated at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Streaking NLEX, also at 2-0, will take on inconsistent Star at 5:15 p.m. in the mainer, while GlobalPort and Barako Bull, teams which hold a 1-1 mark and are in the middle of the pack, face off at 3 p.m. to see who moves up the ladder.
Road Warriors’ coach Boyet Fernandez is very happy with his team’s incredible start, but he demands more from his wards as they go.
“We’re happy that we’re on this two-game winning streak to open the conference. We haven’t done this before,” said Fernandez. “Guys are stepping up and credit goes to them, but we’re hoping we can continue this since this is a long conference.”
(Al Wasl Sports Club – Dubai, UAE)
12 m.n. (PH Time) – Barangay
Ginebra vs. Alaska
Games Sunday (Philsports Arena)
3 p.m. – Barako Bull vs. GlobalPort
5:15 p.m. – Star vs. NLEX