This is the hash tag being used by the Alaska Aces official Twitter account in posting team updates for their fans.
This line perfectly describes the team that dominated the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup. With each player fully accepting their role within the team, nobody could stop the Aces from grabbing that championship. Choosing to keep their team intact and unchanged going into the Governor’s Cup, the Aces remain the favorites in the eyes of many to win back to back championships.
During the long break, the first thing that the Alaska management addressed was the health of their players. Sonny Thoss, Calvin Abueva and Gabby Espinas were all sent to China to undergo treatments that were combined with the use of traditional Chinese medicine for their injuries. Coming from that, the three players have been reported to be in good shape and are all set for the upcoming tournament.
The Aces also took a trip to the US to work on their skills and further build on their team chemistry. They went through rigorous training at the IMPACT Basketball Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the same IMPACT training system that is known around the world and is sought after by so many NBA players during their offseasons. Of course, the break was not all about work, as the team also had the chance to bond with each other and with their families while visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios as part of their reward for winning the Commissioner’s Cup.
With the Governor’s Cup already on their minds while they were in LA, the Aces also were able to spend time with Wendell Mckines, their new import. Wendell “Mr. Wednesday” Mckines is considered to be one of the most talented players to come from New Mexico State University. Though he wasn’t a projected NBA draft pick, he’s a well known role player who excells on the glass, is athletic and has a reliable jumper.
After college, the 25 year old Mckines went to play for the French League, where he was able to average a double-double, while also winning the Player of the Month award once as well. Based on his highlight videos, we can see that he is a lot more aggressive than Commissioner’s Cup import Robert Dozier and this comes with a physical playing style similar to Calvin Abueva and Gabby Espinas. His addition to the team gives the Aces front-line yet another intimidating presence, which will surely complement their Commissioner’s Cup leading defense.
If you want to see more, check him out destroying the S.F. Pro-Am League in the video below:
The Alaska Aces definitely knew what they had to do coming into the Governor’s Cup and that is to get healthy and keep their team intact. Based on their activities over the long break, we can see that the Alaska Aces are coming into the Governor’s Cup once again poised to win it all. They will be entering the conference not only intact and healthy, but also with the swagger and confidence that championship teams bring to the table.
The challenge now for Coach Luigi Trillo and his staff will be on finding the right buttons to push to get this team motivated to maintain the level of excellence that they showed last conference. With a team that features a great mix of mature veterans and hungry youngsters, properly motivating this crew should be the least of the coaching staff’s concerns.
Regardless of the team’s strengths, the barometer of this conference’s success will still be on Wendell Mckines’ performance with the team. On paper, it seems like he’s a pretty good fit for the Aces. At the end of the day, as long as he embodies the selfless Alaska basketball attitude, the team should find itself atop of the standings right off the bat.
With some teams hobbled due to their player’s responsibilities with the National Team, this conference presents as good of a chance as ever for Alaska to win back to back championships. As long as everyone sticks to the #WENOTME attitude, I completely expect them to be hoisting up the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup trophy.