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PBA: Alaska battles NLEX

Alaska's Romeo Travis work his way to the basket against TnT's Harvey Carey during PBA action at Ynares Center Antipolo City.   Photo by Tony PionillaGames Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. – Alaska vs NLEX
7 p.m. – Meralco vs TNT

Alaska tries to regain the share of the lead with Barako Bull when it clashes with struggling NLEX today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Aces are being groomed to cruise past the Road Warriors in their 4:15 p.m. encounter and equal the Energy Cola’s surprising 5-1 slate

Aces Coach Alex Compton, however, begs to disagree, calling the Road Warriors’ lowly 1-4 record as deceiving.

“A few bounces haven’t gone their way this conference but I believe their record is deceiving and we need to play our best basketball from start to finish if we want to win this one,” said Compton.

Compton added that NLEX’s depth will pose a challenge for Alaska to keep its hot form.

“NLEX is a well-coached, it’s a veteran team that plays smart basketball,” said Compton. “They have a dominant center in Asi Taulava, a high-flying import in Kwame Alexander, an excellent point guard in Jonas Villanueva, and a bunch of shooters and scorers around these guys.”

Alaska will be led by its import Romeo Travis, who has been impressive with averages of 25.6 points and 13 rebounds per game.

Looking to once again provide Travis with the all-out support are Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss, JVee Casio, Dondon Hontiveros, RJ Jazul, Vic Manuel and rookie Chris Banchero.

NLEX has lost its last two assignments to Talk ‘N Text (108-89) and Kia (85-82) after beating Meralco (91-84) last May 13.

The 6-foot-5 Alexander, who has put up a collection of highlight reels in his maiden campaign, is averaging 22.8 points and 15.8 rebounds through five games with NLEX.

Meanwhile, Meralco and Talk ‘N Text collide in the second game at 7 p.m. The Bolts are coming off an 87-72 victory over the Blackwater Elite while the Tropang Texters are eager to bounce back following a 123-120 setback to the Globalport Batang Pier.

TNT is tied with Kia in fifth place at 3-2 while Meralco is in seventh with an even 3-3 slate.

“It’s an important game for both, an opportunity to move up in the standings and stay out of the bottom four,” said Meralco mentor Norman Black, who coached TNT last season. “Talk ’N Text is such a high quality team that we’ll have to bring our A game to the court to get a win. Our ability to defend the post, and challenge their 3-point shots are keys.”