Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City)
4:30 p.m. – Kia vs TNT KaTropa
7 p.m. – Phoenix Fuel vs Alaska
They had waged countless battles together in the past, pulling off exhilarating wins and going through agonizing defeats.
As head coach and assistant, they were inseparable, plotting the course of their ballclub – until during the off-season.
Today, however, marks the first time Alaska Coach Alex Compton and longtime lieutenant Louie Alas will be on opposing benches as rivals when the surging Aces take on the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
The encounter is scheduled at 7 p.m. as the Aces, currently at solo third with four wins and two losses, try to extend their win streak to a league-tying five games.
The Fuel Masters, on the other hand, hope to break free from a five-way tie with Rain or Shine, GlobalPort, TNT KaTropa and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel from fourth to eight spots all carrying 3-3 records.
Currently tied on top of the standings are defending champion San Miguel Beer and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok with 5-1 cards.
Aside from the two teams looking for a W, the spotlight is also on the fledgling Compton-Alas face-off, with Compton expressing excitement on the eve of the showdown.
“I have had so much respect for Coach Louie ever since I played for him in 1999,” said Compton, referring to his stint with the Manila Metro Stars that won the title that year in the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).
“It will be an honor to coach in a game with him coaching the other team,” said Compton, who fully supported the decision of Alas when he accepted the offer from Phoenix prior to the 43rd PBA season.
“I’m sure it will be a great and intense game for all the fans to watch,” he added.
Compton assumed Alaska’s coaching job before the 2014 Governors’ Cup with Alas part of his staff. Together, they helped the team make it to the finals four times, all of which ended in painful defeats – twice against San Miguel in the Philippine Cup.
ROSS FINED 25.8K
Meantime, San Miguel Beer guard Chris Ross was fined a total of P25,800, including P20,000 for issuing statements detrimental to the league following a controversial 100-96 loss to Ginebra last Sunday.
Referee Jerry Borja was banned for three weeks for calling the foul against Barangay Ginebra’s Sol Mercado off San Miguel’s Chico Lanete.
But instead of Lanete taking the free throws, it was Ross who took the freebies, which the three other referees, namely, Noy Guevarra, Jimmy Mariano, and Mardy Montoya, allowed, resulting in the chaos that marred the final 4.5 seconds of the game.