Fresh from their win against the GlobalPort Batang Pier, the Purefoods Star Hotshots (1-0) look to add another W against the runners-up last conference, the Alaska Aces (0-0). It was a solid first win for the Hotshots against the Batang Pier. However, their first real test this conference should be against this Alaska Aces squad that turned heads in the Philippine Cup playoffs with their brand-new “Never Say Die” type of play. This will be an interesting match-up between two teams that thrive with defense. Kumbaga, labanan ‘to ng depensa. Matira matibay.
Aside from defense, another factor that would determine the outcome of this match would be the performance of the impact players from both teams: Joe Devance from Purefoods and Calvin Abueva from Alaska. Although their type of play isn’t the same (JDV’s more of a silent operator while The Beast’s more of an aggressor), their performance on the court usually result into the same thing: a win for their team (Philippine Cup Elims WS – JDV: 1.2, CA: 1.7). During the Philippine Cup elims, both players led their respective teams in terms of PER. Joe Devance had a PER of 19.2 while Calvin Abueva had a PER of 29.5. If Purefoods will be able to lessen the impact of Abueva in the game, they will have a better chance in winning this one.
In terms of the import match-up, it would be a big test for Marqus Blakely as he goes up against a defensive specialist in DJ Covington.
Purefoods’ chances of winning their 2nd straight game against Alaska is pretty good as the Aces are still recovering from their grueling Finals series against the Beermen. Also, the import to local chemistry will be in favor of the Hotshots in this one. One thing they shouldn’t do in this game is to let their guard down as we all know what Alaska is capable of doing when this happens.
TV: LIVE ON TV5 AND AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO5 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 7:00 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Pranz Kaeno Billones, Sports 5; Mandy Mangubat and Mon Rubio, The Shaded Lane (Edited by MI.NI for Humblebola)