For the second time in as many games, the Aces are facing an undefeated team (as of their game, of course). First it was the Meralco Bolts, led by Chris Hodge and his very endearing smile. They dominated that game, 105-64, never really losing control of the game. Vic Manuel led all scorers with 18 points (on 9 shots).
This marks the first time that the Aces have started a season 3-0 since their championship run in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup, when they won five straight before bowing out to the Mixers. Can another San Miguel team crush the hopes of this Aces?
The Beermen have, unsurprisingly, won with their offense, scoring 104.4 points per 100 possession. Their ability to get to the line, led of course by the Kraken (37.5 percent free throw rate) and Super Mario (37.1 percent free throw rate), is buoying their offense so far. That’ll be a big problem for an Alaska team that likes to foul a lot (hello Abueva flops!). But the Kraken will have a hard time finding fouls because Sonny Thoss is one of the better post defenders in the league. He doesn’t allow a ton of fouls and he’ll be a one giant deterrent for the Kraken.
The Aces, on the other hand, will be riding on the muscular shoulders of Vic Manuel, the steady shooting of Dondon, the quiet but effective leadership of Casio and of course the volatile creature that is Calvin Abueva. A fourth straight win here is doable if they keep the Beermen’s offensive attack down by not giving them easy points from the line. The Kraken isn’t as great as he should be every minute of every game. There are still instances where you’ll find him just standing still in a corner on his knees. This means if San Miguel’s offense through the Kraken can be stopped early, they’ll have a good chance of winning. If the Kraken goes off, it’s going to cascade through his teammates like an avalanche. Pray the former happens rather than the latter. Nobody wants to see the Kraken, at sea or on the court.
Is it going to be #FearTheBeer or #GotMilk? (lol)
I’m willing to go against my better judgement and say Alaska gets their fourth straight W. Vic Manuel FTW
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