FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Published on November 4, 2011

Fresh from a first win which ended its worst conference start in 10 years, Alaska is looking to make it two in a row against a Petron Blaze squad which itself is looking to break out of a slump as the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup goes on the road anew Saturday this time in Lapu-Lapu City. 

 The Aces, who surprised erstwhile streaking Barako Bull 93-72 last Wednesday, take on the undermanned Boosters in the 6:45 p.m. encounter at the Hoops Dome, the league’s first official game in the four-month old new venue at the center of Mactan island in Cebu.

The league’s current top big man, Sonny Thoss, who erupted for a career-high 27 points which came with 13 rebounds in the win over the Energy, is once again expected to banner Alaska in this Phoenix Fuel PBA On Tour presentation where the Aces look to improve on their 1-5 record, which is just one and a half game out of cellar-dwelling (0-7). 

 “I hope we can do it again. Basketball is putting the ball in the hole. We weren’t able to do that in the first five games but now we were able to do it,” said Alaska head coach Joel Banal after the win over Barako Bull, his first since taking over Tim Cone prior to the start of the season. 

 The Aces, who duplicated their 0-5 start in the 2001 Governors Cup, were the worst offensive team in the conference prior to that game against the Energy, averaging only 74.6 points per game before erupting for that 93 as a result of 23 assists and a 50% shooting from the floor, both conference-highs for the team. 

 “I hope we don’t feel relieved by winning this game because we still have a lot of hard work to do ahead,” added Banal. But Alaska is up against the 2011 Governors’ Cup champion which is reeling from a three-game losing streak after a sizzling 3-0 conference start. 

 Petron Blaze, which is coming off a 108-94 defeat to Powerade last Sunday, is hoping the six-day break will be good enough for their remaining healthy bodies to recharge their batteries and notch a win which will move it out of a three-way logjam with Barangay Ginebra and Powerade, which also tote 3-3 slates, in the middle of the team standings. 

The Boosters, who have not won in the last three weeks or since a 98-87 decision over Powerade last Oct. 16, are still missing the services of injured key players Jay Washington, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Dondon Hontiveros. 

As a result of their depleted lineup Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and even rookie Chris Lutz, as well as veteran Danny Ildefonso, have been playing major minutes.

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