Monkey off back. Series evened. Alaska is back. Completely. Fully. No more Tim Cone asterisk. Now they’ve proven to everyone they can beat anyone, and finally have the boxscore to prove it. On a massive stage, against Cone’s Undertaker-Wrestlemania-like 9-0 record against them, the Aces showed us all who they truly were: a tough, gritty, balanced team that will most probably piss you the eff off. Here are the must-knows from their Game 2 dub, ICYMI:
28 and 27. 28. And. 27. TWENTY-EIGHT AND TWENTY-SEVEN. Freakin’ hell how many times do I have to say it before you realize that 28 and 27 is so sick, I’m sure Ne-Yo wants to write a single about it. Dude. This guy missed all but three of his shots. Pulled down 27 boards, was a total monster on the offensive glass and damn near shut down Denzel Bowles (although he credits Sonny Thoss for that last bit. Great job, Boss!).
The crazier part of all this? I watched every second of this game and didn’t realize Dozier was close to pulling an Ilyasova til the very end when they flashed his stats. How the hell can someone get a quiet 28 and 27? It’s a testament to Rob, I guess more than anything. That he’s a workhorse who isn’t flashy and is only worried about the WE, not the ME. That or it’s a testament to my ADHD.
One but not done. The Alaska Aces have finally beaten Tim Cone. A new chapter is at last upon them as they snap the 9-game skid against their former mentor. Took long enough? Imagine how long that cold, miserable wait must’ve been for them. That was a winter so long even a Stark of Winterfell would complain.
But then, no one celebrated. No RG fist pump, no Chualay lugay, no Auerbach cigar, no Junel Baculi “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE WE WON” face. Just another W. Just step 1 in what they hope to be a set of 3. Incredible focus from top to bottom.
Beating Tim was supposed to be huge for them. Only it wasn’t huge enough. Just goes to show how Alaska is ready for the big time, the bigger wins, the biggest trophy.
Man, Calvin Abueva falls a lot. Tell me this, what happens more often, he grabs a rebound or he grabs his face in “pain”? Honest question. Now I won’t deny that Calvin gets hit. I mean this guy catches more people’s elbows than The Rock’s sparring partner. And while we can go all day arguing about the fine line between “selling a call” and straight up flopping, one thing stands to be a fact: whatever it is Calvin is doing, it is pissing San Mig Coffee the eff off.
Yancy got him. Najorda gave him a flagrant. Reavis planted one on him. Most of all, James seemed to have lost it too against the Beast. So much for keeping his cool against the rook. Yap said his frustration was fuelled by Abueva’s flopping and alleged shots to his injured back.
This is interesting because Abueva may have just lit a fire under the two-time MVP that Yap might parlay into a breakout series. Either that or Calvin has frustrated James and the rest of the Mixers so much so that it will take away from their focus and execution in the games to come.
Either way, it’s fun for us. Once again, I urge the PBA: Di ba talaga pwedeng best of 9 series?
Photos c/o Interaktv