MANILA – Alaska Milk, NLEX, Purefoods Star, and Rain or Shine will see action tonight at Smart Araneta Coliseum for their respective PBA Commissioner’s Cup debuts.
NLEX Road Warriors will go up against the Elasto Painters in the opener at 4:15 p.m. Followed by last conference’s runner-up Aces against the Hotshots in the main game at 7 p.m.
Alaska head coach Alex Compton says that they feel that they will have a hard time against Purefoods.
“It will be very tough for us. Purefoods is a great team coming off a conference they’re not satisfied with. They have the winningest coach with an import who knows their system and players in and out,” explained Compton.
Purefoods head coach Tim Cone resonates Compton’s thoughts.
“It’s always tougher to play the runners-up than the champions. The runners-up are still always motivated going into the next conference,” said Cone. “We expect Alaska to come out firing on all cylinders and we’re bracing for a tough, tough game.”
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao says that his team has an advantage against NLEX because of their import, Rick Jackson.
“Asi Taulava will also have his matchup against Rick Jackson which solves our perennial matchup problem. The question that needs to be answered is can we match our locals against their import,” said Guiao.
However, NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez says that they are better prepared after their participation in an international tourney in Dubai.
“He’s not in shape in Dubai. He’s quite in it now and I expect him to help our team in scoring,” said Fernandez referring to the 14th pick overall in the 2007 NBA Draft and their import Al Thornton.