After two years of heartbreaks, the Alaska Aces are back in the Promised Land.
The Milkmen earned a thrilling 99-92 victory over two-time finalists Meralco Bolts in Game Four of their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-five semifinals, Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
This Finals trip has been a long time coming for Alaska. Their last championship appearance was in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup, where they faced the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and lost in six games.
“Siyempre sa akin, masaya ako na nakabalik kami kasi noong una. Goal lang namin sa eliminations, yung Top Four. Tapos nakuha namin, naging semis hanggang sa Finals,” said Vic Manuel, one of the Aces’ leaders.
“Yung paghihirap namin, talagang nasuklian talaga.”
Manuel can’t help but look back on how tough it was for Alaska during those two dry years. The Aces even suffered a rough 14-game losing skid bridging the Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cups back in 2017.
“Sobrang nakaka-frustrate talaga. Mga nakaraang conferences, talagang hanggang semis lang kami.
“Talagang ang goal namin makapasok ulit kami sa finals. Frustration talaga yung naramdaman namin noon,” the six-year pro said.
But all of the trials and tribulations the Aces have gone through are now a thing of the past with this Finals trip. And for Manuel and Alaska, they’re now looking to win it all to end the franchise’s half-a-decade title drought.
“Siyempre, gusto namin makuha ngayon yung championship. Yun talaga yung pinaka-goal namin. Matagal tagal na rin kaming hindi nakakakuha ng championship tapos ilang taon na rin kaming hindi nakakabalik sa Finals,” shared the product of Philippine School of Business Administration.
“Talagang ibibigay namin yung best namin para makuha ito.”