(Legazpi City, Albay)
5 p.m. – Alaska vs TNT KaTropa
Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario and rookie Roger Pogoy are expected to see action despite limited rest as TNT KaTropa eyes an important win over the Alaska Aces today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City, Albay.
Castro, Rosario and Pogoy will have little time reacquainting themselves with their teammates after helping Gilas Pilipinas capture the SEABA Championship which concluded two nights ago at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TNT assistant team manager Virgil Villavicencio confirmed that the three KaTropa will be available for the 5 p.m.
Petron Saturday Special game as they seek to keep pace in the race for the top two spots.
Eight teams will make the playoffs of the midseason tournament with the two best squads getting the elusive twice-to-beat advantage.
The KaTropa have a 6-3 record with two games remaining, trailing co-leader San Miguel and Ginebra, both having 5-1 slates, and 7-2 squads Meralco and Star.
Alaska, meanwhile, has yet to confirm whether Calvin Abueva, who was also part of the Gilas team in the SEABA, will suit up for the game. The Aces are perhaps in need of Abueva’s presence after a 4-0 start was followed by three consecutive losses.
June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar and Raymond Almazan were doubtful during the resumption of hostilities in the midseason tournament last night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Fajardo’s San Miguel was playing the NLEX Road Warriors in the first game while Aguilar’s Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Almazan’s Rain or Shine Elasto Painters also faced off in the nightcap.
The three players confirmed their presence in yesterday’s doubleheader, even if they might end up watching from the sidelines.
Racela’s KaTropa will parade a new import in Joshua Smith in lieu of Donte Greene, who despite erupting for 41 points in the 112-103 defeat of the Beermen last May 5 was let go by TNT management.
Smith stands at 6-foot-9 is coming off a stint with the Rio Grand Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League.
TNT will also play for the first time since parting ways with Larry Fonacier, who was dealt to NLEX in a four-player trade involving Globalport and Meralco.
Obtained in that deal were Anthony Semerad and NLEX’s first-round pick in next year’s PBA draft.
The Aces haven’t played since May 7 when they dropped a heartbreaking 103-102 loss to Ginebra on a game-winning three-point play by import Justin Brownlee.