The streaking NLEX Road Warriors will next challenge the Alaska Aces, as Yeng Guiao’s men look to continue rolling. That’s going to be easier said than done, however, as the Aces have been playing well of late. Plus, Alaska is 3-0 against NLEX in the last three meetings between these teams.
Catch this game live on November 9 at 4:00 pm, Manila time.
The Alaska Aces (6-4)
The Aces recovered from a loss to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Nov. 3 by milking the NorthPort Batang Pier for a 102-94 win last Friday. The Aces have now won three of their last four games and will look to strike anew after regaining momentum.
Alaska was able to weather NorthPort’s Christian Standhardinger’s monster numbers of 39 points and 16 rebounds, as the Aces relied on a collective effort from the starters and relievers, including Rodney Brondial, who came out of nowhere to score 16 points and 10 rebounds. Brondial literally likes coming out of nowhere, as he is leading the Aces this conference with 2.4 offensive rebounds per game and has recorded 10 in the last two contests.
Unlike in previous conferences, Alaska’s frontcourt is oozing with youth and potential with Brondial, Abu Tratter, and Barkley Ebona complementing veteran Vic Manuel.
That frontcourt is going to give NLEX headaches, as the Aces aim to control the game’s pace. The Aces are fourth in defense in the PBA with only 94.7 points allowed per game. Opponents are also shooting just 41.7% against the Aces in the bubble.
The NLEX Road Warriors (4-5)
The Road Warriors absolutely destroyed the San Miguel Beermen last Friday, as NLEX scored a 124-90 win over the defending Philippine Cup champions.
Six players scored in double digits for NLEX in that game, with Michael Miranda leading the way with 22 points. Miranda played like a man possessed, tossing a perfect offensive game by going 8-for-8 from the field, including four 3-pointers. Miranda is unlikely to repeat such a performance, but coach Yeng Guiao’s teams have the penchant for having a wild card going off on any given game. It wasn’t that long ago, when Raul Soyud dropped a career-high 27 points, albeit in a loss to the Phoenix Fuel Masters. NLEX is tops in the PBA bubble with 47.7 bench points per game.
Alaska definitely has targets on the backs of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas, but the possibility of a deep-bench guy leading NLEX in any game is higher than most other teams. Don’t be surprised if someone like Kenneth Ighalo or Kristoffer Porter comes out with their guns blazing this Monday.
Alaska’s offensive rebounding gets the Aces the significant second-chance points, which will make the difference in this game. Alaska takes the win here, 91-88.