MANILA, Philippines – The Alaska Aces look to advance to the PBA Governors Cup finals when they face off against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game 4 of their semi-finals series Thursday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska took a 2-1 series lead after beating Rain or Shine in Game 3, 104-94, in a physical showdown that saw import Henry Walker sustain a bruised elbow.
The Aces will have two chances to seal a finals berth, but are eager to end the series in order to give Walker a chance to rest his bruised elbow.
But Rain or Shine and Alaska have alternated wins and losses in their first four matches of the conference, and the Aces are hoping that they can buck that trend.
“Walang reason para magpahinga,” Alaska head coach Alex Compton told PBA.ph. “You do that when the season is over. Wala ring reason para umangal sa physicality of the series. It’s playoff time.”
“Maraming banggaang mangyayari, at part iyon ng playoffs,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said the Elasto Painters will have to come out with greater intensity if they are to push the series to a do-or-die Game 5.
“Alaska outworked us (in Game 3) and we did not show the same desire we showed in Game 2,” said Guiao. “We are not discouraged, though. We had good practice, and we will be more ready in Game 4.”
RoS swingman Gabe Norwood may also return after suffering an ankle sprain in Game 1. He was in uniform for Game 3 but was kept on the bench by Guiao.
Without Norwood to slow him down, Walker proved to be too much, as he scored 26 points to go along with 13 rebounds in Game 3.
Game time is at 8 p.m.