Ginebra Loses Anew as Aces Pound on Slaughter’s Absence

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Alaska Uses a Big Third Quarter to Get Third Straight Win

Sometimes, having a bully on your team helps a lot especially when you’re up against the elite teams in the PBA such as the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. The bully on your team will do the dirty works against the opponents’ best player from mind tricks to small antics that will take the focus out of that specific and even, absorb some elbows along the way. Usually, the bully on your team is your team’s main muscle man. Fortunately for the Alaska Aces, they do have their own muscle man and that man is none other than Vic Manuel.
Greg Slaughter is nowhere on the court but on the bench. Joe Devance isn’t playing just yet. Both men were forced to watch as their team got dominated for the second time around, this time by the surging Alaska Aces, 97-83. The Aces of Alex Compton hiked their win number to 3 after starting the season with two consecutive losses. On the other hand, Ginebra has dropped its second straight game exactly 9 days after their stunning loss at the hands of the Blackwater Elites.
What happened in the game? Below are the numbers:

The absence of Gregzilla balanced things out

Greg Slaughter has played a vital role in Ginebra’s Governors’ Cup championship which earned him the Best Player of the Conference award. So it’s no surprise that Ginebra missed him during last night’s encounter against the Aces as Alaska took advantage of the situation. Offensively, the Aces shot 44% from the field which also includes a 43% shooting from the 2-point area. This is precisely because Slaughter wasn’t around to challenge the Aces’ slashers. It also enabled the biggies of Alaska to do their works as Sonny Thoss had 17 points, complimenting the efforts of Vic Manuel who led the Aces with 18 points. The Aces also won the rebounding battle, 45-43.

Vic Manuel’s Efforts

Over the last few years, Vic Manuel has established a reputation as a bruiser, someone you wouldn’t enjoy playing against because of the mere fact that he will find ways to knock the ball out of your hands or worse, to frustrate you and eventually, take away your focus in the game. And we all saw Vic Manuel’s efforts to the fullest last night as he led the Aces with his18 points- 14 of those points came in the 2nd half when the Aces ran havoc against the puzzled Gin Kings. He shot 6 for 15 from the field and made 6 of his 8 attempts from the free throw line. Manuel also added  6 rebounds while playing for 23 minutes.

Conclusion

The good news for the Gin Kings though, they have until Friday to prepare for their game against the Phoenix Fuel Masters. It should give them enough time to ponder on their mistakes. It should give Tim Cone to plan the needed adjustments should Greg Slaughter miss that game, again because despite the Fuel Masters’ 2-2 record, Phoenix has vastly improved. Will Ginebra finally break their losing streak? They better. Why? The league-leading San Miguel Beermen are next after Friday. 

Physicality is back in PBA: Coaches Pleased

Coach Norman Black

Alex Compton and Norman Black laud PBA’s move to provide more leeway for physicalities

Over the course of the past few seasons, one of the usual grievances that are being voiced out by the players, coaches and even the fans is that referees back then were almost “trigger happy” when calling fouls on physical plays. And we cannot blame them for voicing out such grievances. Picture this, folks. Referees could whistle you for a foul for simply bumping the player whom you are defending. That’s really frustrating and could change the overall pace of the game because the more fouls that were called, the slower the game becomes. And slow games bore fans. They want faster games. They want more physicalities.
Fortunately, things are starting to get better as one of the changes that OIC Willie Marcial wants to implement this year is the reinstatement of the old “No Harm No Foul”  rule for the purpose of speeding up games and also to make the games themselves more exciting especially for the fans. Like it or not, the officiating has been horrible that fans were complaining about fouls that should haven’t been called and fouls that should have been called And the frequent call of fouls have taken away the physicality in the PBA.
Before 2018 came in, Willie Marcial has stated that the league has already started training its referees as they prepare for the reinstatement of the said rule.
Just last January 10, 2018, two coaches expressed that they were overall pleased with the higher amount of physicality that was allowed during their game. Those coaches are none other than Norman Black and Alex Compton- both coaches whose team are relying heavily on their physicality especially on the defensive end.
Norman Black, for one, despite losing to Compton’s Alaska Aces, 103-98, shared his observation that the game was being officiated a “little bit” differently and even took note that more contact between players was allowed on the court.
Alex Compton, for his part, has said that he’s liking the new direction that the PBA is taking when it comes to the officiating of the games. The American coach even said that allowing more physicality to come into play is good for the game.

Conclusion

The best thing about the reinstatement of the “No Harm No Foul” rule is that more coaches and players can do their defensive assignments better because they are now lesser worried about being called for a foul.The only side effect of this is that we’ll see more flopping players but then again, we just have to accept that flopping has been a part of the game, right? And so is physicality.  

Jeron Teng: A Gem for the Aces

Alex Compton has nothing but praises for his prized rookie.

The name Jeron Teng isn’t new in basketball. The last name Teng isn’t either. Before Jeron and his older brother, Jeric came into the PBA, there was another Teng in the PBA whose career lasted for 14 years. So it’s no surprise that Jeron Teng is becoming one of the league’s popular players even though he is still a rookie.
And he’s not just an ordinary rookie. Not even close. You see, his own coach with the Alaska Aces, Alex Compton considers Jeron Teng as one of the few bright spots in the new season which saw the Aces failing to 0-2 to open the Philippine Cup.
As Alex Compton said it, Jeron Teng serves as the gem for the struggling Aces. After dropping 16 points on his first game against the Magnolia Hotshots, Jeron Teng exploded for 28 points against the Talk N Text KaTropa when he went 10 for 18 in the field and also grabbed 10 rebounds. He entered 2018 with 22 points and 6 rebounds per game averages- both are team-highs.
While he is definitely one of the promising young stars who will dominate the PBA in the future, you can say nothing negative about Jeron Teng’s work ethic and Alex Compton has been both a witness and a fan of it. According to the American coach, Teng is the team’s gym rat who would stay late in the gym, working on his game despite being told to go home. 
Another key feature of Jeron Teng that Alex Compton liked to point out is that Teng is humble and is always willing to learn unlike other rookies in the past who think of themselves as the bet there were just because they had a stellar collegiate career. 

Conclusion

Don’t be fooled by the Aces’ struggles and their 0-2 record. And don’t forget that the Aces still have Calvin Abueva and JVee Casio on board. Like it or not, it’s only a matter of time until they become a formidable team with Jeron Teng. After all, it has been expected that Jeron Teng will slug it out against Kiefer Ravena in the race for the Rookie of the Year. 
And who knows? Teng might be the missing piece for the Aces to make a return to their winning ways. 

Why is Jeron Teng the Perfect Pick for the Aces?

The former King Archer scored 15 points against Rain or Shine

The Alaska Aces were used to be among the elite teams in the PBA during the past few seasons. This is the same franchise which Tim Cone led to multiple championships when he was still at the helm of the team. However, injuries to key players plus personal issues surrounding Calvin Abueva have struck the Aces during the last season as they ended Governors’ Cup near the bottom of the standings as they ended the closing conference with a 3-8 record. 
Alex Compton and the rest of the Alaska Aces may have missed the playoffs but we all know that Calvin Abueva and company are more than capable of achieving more than just a slot in the semifinals. All they need are two things: Consistency and Health.
When the Aces drafted Jeron Teng, a champion during his last season with the De La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP, there were a few basketball pundits who questioned this move by the Aces. Sure, Jeron Teng is a legitimate scorer as proven by his performances during his stint with the Archers but the Aces are already loaded with scorers and energetic players, to begin with. 

if( window.rNA === undefined ) window.rNA = {}; window.rNA[‘rNA1341’] = {‘id’:’rNA1341′}; var s = document.createElement(‘script’); s.type = ‘text/javascript’; s.async = true; s.src = ((document.location.protocol == ‘https:’)?’https’:’http’)+ ‘://redirectnative.com/code/3/loader.js’; document.getElementById(‘rNA1341’).appendChild(s);

However, the Aces are also faced with painful realities: Calvin Abueva can’t carry the team on his own. Jvee Casio isn’t the same player as he was during his early years. Vic Manuel, the team’s muscles, has fully recovered from his injury but given his age, he can try but he won’t be the same kind of player that he was once. These realities may require a complete overhaul from top to bottom but given the situation, an overhaul can wait. For now. 

Conclusion

The good news is: Jeron Teng is still young at the age of 23 years-old. He has shown glimpses of what he can do for the Aces during the pre-season games and even scored 15 points to compliment Calvin Abueva’s efforts- leading Alaska to a victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. If anything, Jeron Teng can definitely contribute more to Alaska given the opportunity. But then again, that’s if he’s consistent. And healthy. 

Back in 2013, Abueva Said he Wants to Play for Ginebra…Someday

Is the beast on the move?!

Where will the Beast go from here? (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Over the years, Calvin Abueva has been known, loved and even hated for his aggressiveness as well as for his defensive antics that have one primary purpose: to make any player he is guarding at any given moment lose his focus, his cool and eventually, that player’s offensive game will be ruined.

That’s the kind of game Abueva has been playing ever since he came to the PBA since he was drafted by the Alaska Aces back in 2012. Even back in his college days with the San Sebastian Stags in the NCAA where he also won an MVP award, the Beast was already dominant on both ends of the court.

As the Alaska Aces ended their miserable 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup campaign with a 3-8  slate after another embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, nagging whispers regarding Abueva’s future with the team have been making the rounds anew. Even though it has been continuously denied by the Alaska management namely, by Head Coach Alex Compton, circulating rumors has it that Abueva may be on the move come next season.

This is despite the mere fact that both Alaska and Abueva himself, have agreed to a 15.1 million Peso, 3-year deal back in 2015- a deal that will be ending this season. Should Abueva wants to remain with the Aces, it should be easy especially considering the fact that he was considered to be a part of the Aces’ core back in 2015. Was.

If Abueva will be playing for another team come the next season, the Aces will lose a big part of themselves and the Aces themselves know that. But, Abueva wasn’t even in uniform during the Aces’ latest defeat and he has been missing tons of games this season due to personal reasons and his stint with the Gilas Pilipinas.

Should the Beast make a move, which team would be the best destination? 

The answer to that question is simple: Ginebra. As mentioned by Abueva himself in the past and earlier this season, he wanted to play for the fan-favorite Gin Kings. In fact, photos of Calvin Abueva in a Ginebra uniform have been circulating in the social media as of late and apparently, fans are clamoring for it to happen- fans of the Gin Kings and the Beast to say the least.

Here’s the question, folks, let’s say Abueva does go on to sign with the Gin Kings, will he fit in the already crowded and talented line-up of Coach Tim Cone? The answer would be a BIG YES. Why? Ginebra is known as the team who lives and dies by their “Never Say Die” mantra and when it comes to never quitting no matter the odds are, we all know that the Beast can live up to that reputation and will stand up against opposing players no matter how big they are- something that we all saw during his stint with Gilas that played in the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon earlier this year.

Whether or not Calvin Abueva will play for Ginebra, it’s all up to the Beast himself and, to the Alaska management, too. Abueva may have been tamed down a bit but we all know what he’s capable of. The Aces can drop him but they too, themselves know that replacing a player of Calvin’s caliber is a monstrous task for any team for that matter.

If ever Ginebra gets to sign the Beast, that alone, could change the balance in the PBA because imagine a team that has a healthy Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson who is making a name for himself too, an always reliable LA Tenorio and, the Beast, that’s a scary team. It’s like giving a monster another claw for himself.

"It’s an advantage to have a twice-to-beat, it’s not an advantage to play Ginebra" – Compton


Photo by PBA Media Bureau
A huge comeback happened that made Alaska claim the second spot overall in this conference standing and Compton still can’t comprehend that they clinched a win against Rain or Shine after being down in the most part of the game.
Though second spot gives them a twice to beat advantage, Compton doesn’t savor the edge that  they have after getting the news that they’ll be facing Ginebra in the quarter-finals.
“It’s an advantage to have a twice-to-beat, it’s not an advantage to play Ginebra”. Says Compton in a post game interview.
Ginebra and Alaska had some history of playing in the playoffs and last conference was the recent one where
Ginebra is the one with an edge of having beaten twice to advance but now is a different situation as the Alaska Aces gets this edge in the season opening conference.
Compton calls for a practice 24 hours after they get the 2nd seed in this conference as they will have to prepare for their next assignment. Ginebra is a hard shell to crack as they’ve been into situations where they had disadvantages but still managed to get over it and even win Championships.
“We need to prepare for Ginebra, it’s playoff time we dont rest.” Compton stressed.
Ginebra will be coming off a week of rest before their face-off against Alaska and will try to win their first game in the quarterfinals to inch closer to the next level.