After surviving a gritty fight from the GlobalPort Batang Pier, the STAR Hotshots now find themselves once more in the Semifinals of the 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup. They’re still on the right track as of the moment in their quest for a third-straight Governors’ Cup crown. 3 more wins and they’re in the Finals once again. But right now, they have no business thinking about that one yet because what stands in their way are the Alaska Aces.

The number one team in the eliminations and fresh from a come-from-behind victory against Ginebra in the quarterfinals, Alaska is a very formidable opponent from the bottom all the way to the top. They have on their side Alex Compton who has blossomed into a better version of Coach “Ryan Gregorio” – excellent motivator at the same time knows how to play his players. They also have a beast of an import in Travis Romeo who can shoot the jump shot when you give him the space and can also bully his way inside if he sees he has the advantage. And of course, Alaska’s local crew are one of the more solid cores in the PBA today – Jvee Casio, Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss, Vic Manuel, and the original beast in Calvin Abueva. Not to mention, they have a steady point guard off the bench in Chris Banchero.

If you look at the match-ups, Alaska has a very good chance of beating the STAR Hotshots. But this is not to say that the Hotshots don’t stand a chance. They do have a chance of beating the Aces but the effort they would have to put in would be double than what they did against GlobalPort. For them to win games against the Aces, they must be the aggressor at all times. They must be able to dictate the pace but they must also be wise in doing so.

The real key to this match-up would really have to be finding the right balance. The Hotshots cannot be too stiff and just stick with running the triangle exclusively and they can’t also be too loose and just run whenever they can. Alaska has the tools to check both game plans and what the Hotshots need to display in this series is variability. If they can come in and surprise Alaska and keep them guessing the whole game, they have a good chance of stealing this first game away from the Aces.


Playoff Bracket 2015 Governor's Cup (as of 6.29.15)

TIME: 7:00 PM

Featured Image Credit: Sherwin Vardeleon, CNN Philippines; Paul Ryan Tan, SLAM.PH (Edited by: MI.NI Graphics and Design)