Alaska’s youthful mentor Luigi Trillo pointed to his team’s poor shooting as the culprit to their 75-68 loss to defending champion San Mig Coffee last Wednesday that ended their impressive five-game winning run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“We had a bad shooting night so definitely we have to bounce back. Against the hottest team, we have to play very hard and smart,” said Racela.
In their game against San Mig, Alaska made only 22 of 72 tries for a paltry 30.6 percent and their import, Robert Dozier, was a big disappointment.
That contributed to their lousy third quarter performance where they scored only 9 points while allowing the Mixers to score in transition to pull away for good.
“I know it’s a cliché, but whether it’s by a point or thirty points, it’s still one loss all the same,” added Trillo after his team fell behind by 23 points (62-39) after three quarters before staging a rally in the final frame that fell short.
Both Petron and Alaska have similar 5-1 marks thus making their 7:30 p.m. match more exciting.
Rain or Shine, another team on the rise, shoots for its fifth straight win against Globalport at 5:15 p.m.
San Mig Coffe, Barako Bull and Meralco are locked in a three-way tie for fourth to sixth places at 3-3, Talk ’N Text 2-3, Globalport 2-4, while Barangay Ginebra and Air21 are at the bottom at 1-5.
Petron has won its fifth straight after beating Barako Bull (91-78) last Sunday, as import Renaldo Balkman displayed anew his all-around game by collecting 33 points, 14 rebounds four assists, four steals and a shot block in 37 minutes of action.
Aside from that, the Boosters will have veteran point guard Alex Cabagnot back after missing three games due to an inverted sprained right ankle. The 6-foot-1 Cabagnot has been practicing the last two days and will see action, according to coach Olsen Racela.
“He’ll definitely play. We’ll give him several minutes, ayaw naman namin na biglain,” said Racela.
“Our focus, of course, is on the game against Alaska. They’re coming off a tough loss to San Mig, so they’ll surely try to bounce back hard. We just got to be prepared, match their aggressiveness and play solid defensively,” Racela added.
During a pre-tournament in Cebu, Petron actually defeated Alaska in the Finals.