MANILA, Philippines – Expect an intense, no-holds-barred battle for the title when Alaska meets Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday for the best-of-five PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.
Both teams know that they will undergo a highly physical and grueling series to get to the title.
“We’re going to have our hands full,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo in the PBA website.
Trillo and his charges survived a tough showdown against erstwhile champion San Mig Coffee in the semis and they have no doubt they will have a tough assignment in Ginebra.
“This is where you really test each other. You want to take away their strengths and quickly. Remember, this is a difficult series, with no real room for mistakes,” he said.
Trillo added that he expects the Gin Kings to do whatever it takes to psyche the Aces out of their game. “The concentration to overcome the physicality is vital,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua said the series will boil down to proper execution and the will to win.
Chua said his boys know that the stakes are higher in a title series.
“Ang championship kasi, iba nang level. Pati preparations mo kailangan mas matindi. Kaya tingin ko it will boil down kung sino mas may gusto. Lahat may issues, everyone wants to prove something.”
He added that despite having new players, the Ginebra squad will always stick to its brand of play.
“This is a different Ginebra team, but the physicality will always be there,” he said.
The last time Alaska and Ginebra squared off in a title series was in 1997, when Ginebra, then known as Gordon’s Gin, was handled by Robert Jaworski, Sr. and Alaska was coached by Tim Cone.
The Aces defeated the Gin Kings twice in the course of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, but Ginebra has improved since then.
“These two are vying for their first title in the last eight conferences. Both are young, dynamic coaches, vying for their first title,” said PBA Commissioner Chito Salud.
“The story lines are thick and self-evident, the drama is dripping from the get-go. These two teams have rich and deep winning traditions and we expect them to give our fans a special treat.”