Alaska eyes No. 5; Trillo to handle PBA stars
MANILA, Philippines - Alaska Milk stakes its clean slate and hold of the solo lead as it guns for a fifth straight victory against Philippine Cup three-peat champion Talk n Text at the resumption of the Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.
The Aces and the Tropang Texters slug it out at 7:30 p.m. after the 5:15 p.m. tiff between second-running Petron Blaze and joint eighth placer Air21.
Meanwhile, Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, only in his second year as PBA coach, has been tapped to handle the PBA selection that will play Gilas Pilipinas in the 2013 PBA All-Star Game in Digos, Davao del Sur in May.
Trillo, who became a PBA head coach only in the last Governors Cup, got the honor and privilege to be an All-Star mentor based on his team’s performance in the last Philippine Cup.
Talk n Text’s Norman Black was first on the line but begged off since he’s part of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff. Rain or Shine’s Yeng Guiao and San Mig Coffee’s Tim Cone also begged off due to prior commitments.
The 2013 PBA All-Star Week is set in Digos, Davao del Sur in the middle of the semifinals of the current Commissioner’s Cup.
San Mig Coffee’s James Yap and PJ Simon, Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa and Kerby Raymundo, Petron Blaze’s Arwind Santos, Meralco’s Macmac Cardona, Globalport’s Willie Miller, Barako Bull’s Danny Seigle, Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio and Jayvee Casio, Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga, Paul Lee and JR Quiñahan, and Air21’s KG Canaleta and Mike Cortez are among the leading candidates for the PBA selection.
The PBA is deviating from the Veterans vs RSJs format for this year’s All-Star Game to help the national team in its buildup for the coming FIBA Asia Championship.
The pro league has done the same in 1998 and in 2009 for the same purpose of helping the Nationals in their preparation for an international competition.
The PBA is again holding a Legends Game as preliminary to the All-Star Sunday main event. Among those invited to play in the Legends Game this year are Benjie Paras, Jerry Codiñera, Marlou Aquino, Bong Hawkins, Bong Ravena, Rodney Santos, Art dela Cruz.
“Last conference, they only had two losses for the entire elimination round of 14 games. We know they are going to come out with an extra sense of commitment and focus for our game,” said Trillo.
“I can’t recall the last time they lost back-to-back games. But we do like our match-up with them. We both seem to bring out the best in each other. It’s not going to be an easy game for both teams by any means,” Trillo added.
“It’s a huge game for us and it’s important that we start to find some consistency on defense because so far our effort has been up and down,” said Talk n Text coach Norman Black.
“It’s also important that our import stays out of foul trouble because that has been a big part of our demise in our two losses. Alaska is playing so well we just have to bring our A game if we want to come out with a win,” Black added.