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2014-15 Alaska Aces Primer

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2013-14 Standings:

 WINLOSSRANKPLAYOFFS
Philippine Cup598thDefeated the Bolts in a sudden-death playoffLost to the Barangay (had a twice-to-beat disadvantage)
Commissioner’s Cup633rdLost to the Mixers (had a twice-to-beat advantage)
Governor’s Cup543rdDefeated the Barangay (had a twice-to-beat advantage)Lost to the Painters 3-2 in the semifinals
Total2121

 

2013-14 Team Leaders
PPGJayvee Casio12.60
APGJayvee Casio3.02
RPGJoachim Thoss7.60
BPGJoachim Thoss0.81
SPGCalvin Abueva0.86


Players Lost:
Ryan Buenafe (Free Agent), Nic Belasco (Dispersal draft)
Players Drafted: #5 pick: Chris Banchero, #13 pick: Rome dela Rosa
Players Added: Eric Menk

2014 Projected Depth Chart:

CSonny ThossSamigue EmanGabby Espinas
F Calvin AbuevaEric MenkPaolo Bugia
FTony dela CruzDondon HontiverosJosh Vanlandingham
GCyrus BaguioChris ExciminianoRome dela Rosa
GJayvee CasioRJ JazulChris Banchero

 The Bandwagon Wire Says:

Last season was a transition year for the team as long-time Alaska staff member and Coach Luigi Trillo left the Aces. Assistant coach Alex Compton took the role of head coach right smack in the middle of a conference.

It would be hard for anyone else to follow the trail left by the Tim Cone-mentored Coach Trillo. But Coach Alex Compton is not like the rest of us. Backed by an amazing staff that went to war with him, the Aces would be just

a lay-up

and an overtime win

away from reaching the Governor’s Cup finals. Now, this year’s Aces squad is looking to continue the winning tradition of the franchise going into the 40th season of the league.

New season, new system

After decades of using the triangle offense, the Aces are incorporating the offensive set utilized by the much-beloved 2011 Powerade Tigers squad, where Coach Compton was an assistant coach. This offensive set is fast-paced and relies heavily on outside shooting. The big men in this system should run hard in transition and always be alert for the long offensive rebounds.

The players, for sure, will not have a tough time to adjust to this system mainly because they have the same court general who led that Powerade Tigers team, Jayvee Casio.

If you love offense and high scoring games, watch all the Aces games this season. It will be madness!

What about the defense?

The starting five won’t have a problem on defense, especially with the Boss and Calvin Abueva around. The problem though is whether the bigs off the bench can sustain the defense. Gabby Espinas is out for a while to back-up the Boss. Maybe the former MVP Major Pain can find one last push in the twilight of his career. Or maybe, just maybe, Samigue Eman finally learns how to play ball. The team needs Eman to step-up his game this conference, especially during those moments when the Boss and the Beast are resting on the bench.

2014-15 Philippine Cup Prediction

Teams will have a hard time figuring out who to tightly defend in this Aces squad. Casio, Baguio, Hontiveros, Jazul, and even Exciminiano will have a field day with teams who would try to run with them. However, the Boss and the Beast need to work twice as hard in games against the likes of June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, or Ian Sangalang and Marc Pingris for the team to score wins against those frontlines.

And we still think that Chris Banchero is a little overrated.

Our prediction: 5th place, eliminated in the quarterfinals

 2014-15 PBA Philippine Cup Primers


TBT - PBA - Alaska Aces-01TBT - PBA - Barako Bull-01
TBT - PBA - Ginebra Gin Kings-01TBT - PBA - Global Port Batang Pier-01
TBT - PBA - Meralco Bolts-01TBT - PBA - NLEX Roadwarriors-01
TBT - PBA - Purefoods Hotshots-01TBT - PBA - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters-01
TBT - PBA - San Miguel Beermen-01TBT - PBA - Talk N Text Tropang Texters-01
TBT - PBA - Blackwater Elite & Kia Sorrento-01
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Basketball

Calvin Abueva rejuvenated with return of physical play: ‘Masarap maglaro’

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Photo by PBA Images

For Calvin Abueva, it feels great to play in the PBA nowadays.

The Beast, who has always been known as one of the league’s most physical players ever since entering in 2012, was all praises with the way the officiating has become this 43rd season, which is just letting all the players play.

“Mas gumanda yung tawagan ngayon, naging physical nga. Naging exciting para sa mga tao, mas marami na nanonood ngayon eh,” said Abueva moments after their 97-83 victory over Barangay Ginebra, Sunday night.

Like what had been told many times, physicality was something that was controlled over the last two years. Abueva knows it too well, having been a casualty of such as he had paid a bevy of penalties during that time.

And now that it can already be called a thing of the past, the 6-foot-2 bruiser feels much better, knowing that he could display his brand of basketball once more.

“Masarap maglaro, talagang pisikalan,” said the 29-year-old forward from Angeles, Pampanga. “Siyempre makikita naman natin kung sinasadya o hindi, basta katawan lang.

“Pisikal. Yun yung magandang laro di ba?”

Aside from the comeback of physicality, what makes Abueva beam even more is the way the Aces have been playing in the 2018 Philippine Cup. After a 0-2 start in the tourney, they have now booked their third straight win.

“Nung 2017 parang nilubog na namin yung losing streak namin doon. Ito 2018 na at panibagong destination na naman yung ina-ano namin,” said Abueva, who had nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists against Ginebra.

“Sustain muna namin ‘to… Sana magtuloy-tuloy ‘tong winning streak namin.”

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Alaska takes advantage of Greg Slaughter’s absence

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For the streaking Alaska Aces, their stunning 97-83 victory over the favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night was partly made possible by the absence of one key player: seven-foot behemoth Greg Slaughter.

The 28-year-old center, who was averaging 20.67 points and 10.3 rebounds prior to Sunday, did not play against the Aces due to a hamstring injury. How he incurred the injury has yet to be determined.

“There’s a small person named Greg Slaughter who didn’t play; I think he has an impact on the game,” quipped coach Alex Compton after the match.

“[They missed] a guy who I think is gonna win an MVP soon in Greg Slaughter.

“Sometimes dito sa liga natin, you have to take advantage when opportunities come your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt [though],” added Compton.

With Slaughter out of the way, the Aces’ big men feasted.

Vic Manuel top-billed with 18 points and five rebounds, and elder statesman Sonny Thoss turned back the clock with a 17-point, four-rebound outing.

“Malaking bonus na rin sa amin, kasi wala nga si Greg kaya nakuha namin yung panalo,” said Manuel.

“Yeah it definitely helped,” added the six-foot-seven Thoss, who shot 6-of-12 from the floor and made four of his freebies.

“He’s a big guy, he’s a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder.”

Slaughter was approached and asked by scribes regarding his injury, but he was not in the mood to comment. No one can blame him, though, since the Barangay have slipped to their second straight defeat after a 2-0 start.

“I’m always there in practice, going over our gameplans. But it’s better if you ask our PT,” he said.

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Alaska completes turnaround at Greg Slaughter-less Ginebra’s expense

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Photo by PBA Images

A strong second half surge was all the Alaska Aces needed to turn back the heavily-favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 97-83, and book their third straight victory, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The Aces, who have yet to lose this 2018, have now improved to 3-2. Meanwhile, the Barangay absorbed their second straight loss and have dropped to 2-2.

“I was telling the guys na parang ang dami nating iniisip, hindi natin ginagawa yung ginagawa natin noong nakaraang dalawang linggo. Sabi ko relax lang tayo,” said coach Alex Compton, sharing what he told his wards that sparked the win.

Vic Manuel led the Milkmen with 18 points and five rebounds. Sonny Thoss turned back the clock as he made 17 markers on 6-of-12 shooting, while Chris Banchero supplied 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

The Aces were trailing by eight, 36-44 at the half, but it became a different ball game come the third chapter as they outscored the Gin Kings, 37 to 19, to erect a favorable 73-63 cushion heading into the game’s final 12 minutes.

From there, Alaska kept their foot on the gas to sustain their lead, which grew to as much as 18, 85-67, after their 6-0 spree — punctuated by Banchero’s lay-up plus a foul — with 6:14 remaining in the final frame.

Ginebra still tried to make one last push as they inched within 10, 75-85, but baskets by Thoss and Kevin Racal propelled Alaska to an 89-75 lead with 3:42 left to play — more than enough to knock out their counterparts.

“I was glad to come away with the win,” added Compton. “Sometimes, we have to take advantage of opportunities coming your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt but when two number one picks on the other team aren’t playing… There.”

Jvee Casio had 13 markers for Alaska, while Calvin Abueva nearly had a double-double of nine points and nine boards along with five assists in 20 minutes.

Aljon Mariano had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three dimes for Ginebra, who — despite having Sol Mercado back in the fold after ankle issues — missed the services of Joe Devance and Greg Slaughter due to injuries.

Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, and Kevin Ferrer each scored 12 for the Barangay, with Thompson adding five assists. The trio combined for 15 of Ginebra’s 43 rebounds.

Alaska will aim to extend their streak versus the Blackwater Elite on Saturday, January 27 at 4:30 PM, while Ginebra will look to end their slump against the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. Both games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Alaska 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0.

Ginebra 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0.

Quarterscores: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.

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Frustrated Jared Dillinger admits ‘he’s getting sick’ of Meralco’s bad PH Cup runs

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It’s no secret that the Meralco Bolts have always struggled in the Philippine Cup for the last three years. During the last two seasons, the eight-year-old franchise’s win-loss tally is four wins and 18 losses.

And in the 2018 edition, the narrative has been the same, with little to no hope of it turning the other way around.

The Bolts bowed to the TNT Katropa, 99-81, Sunday night — their third straight defeat after winning over Blackwater Elite in their opener last December. If things continue to stay as they are, it looks like it will be another poor all-Filipino tilt run is looming.

“We’re 1-3 and there’s nothing to be happy about,” said Jared Dillinger, who had 14 points and five caroms in the match at Ynares Center in Antipolo. “It’s a long season though… We [shouldn’t] panic but it’s not fun right now.

“The Philippine Cup has been our Achilles heel and every damn Philippine Cup we get our ass kicked. I’m getting sick of it.”

In this game, Meralco missed the services of top forwards Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge due to injuries. But for Dillinger, those issues shouldn’t be an excuse.

“When you get two guys like Ranidel and Cliff out, as a team, that’s the opportunity for the guys below them to step up,” expressed Dillinger, who has been with the franchise since 2013.

“It doesn’t have to mean scoring, getting the assists or rebound, it’s just making the right play, being smart.”

Asked what went wrong in this particular loss versus their sister team, where they shot just 39.2 percent from the floor and had committed 17 turnovers, the 10-year veteran lamented the poor effort the Bolts put up.

“TNT didn’t do anything much, given that they played well. But they didn’t have any secret schemes against us. They just passed the ball around, and they got open shots,” added the 10-year pro, as TNT made 23 assists and shot 18 triples.

“Our effort wasn’t there. We got to put up the intensity cause it sucks right now.”

Meralco though has a chance to end their slump against Kia this Wednesday. Dillinger sees it as a do-or-die affair, warning that it will be a grind-out affair knowing that the Picanto is coming off a skid-ending win over Rain or Shine.

Do-or-die ’cause that’s gonna be a playoff game. Thank God they beat Rain or Shine ’cause you don’t want to be that one team that gives the win to a 0-16 [team]. You don’t want to play teams like that,” stressed the all-around forward.

“Nothing to take away from Kia though. It’s gonna be tough.”

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