MANILA, Philippines – On Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Magnolia Chicken Timplados and Converge will try to win the PBA Commissioner’s Cup two games in a row.
At 6:45 p.m., the Hotshots and FiberXers clash. with the victor going 2-0 in their record.
When the Bay Area Dragons take against Phoenix Super LPG later on., they aim for the lone advantage.
With victories over Terrafirma, a conference cellar-dweller, Magnolia and Converge both had a solid start.
Import Nick Rakocevic put on a strong performance, leading the Hotshots to a 100-92 victory over the Dyip with 45 points and 25 rebounds.
Magnolia vs Converge
Magnolia and Converge, who both won in their conference debuts thanks in large part to their foreign players, square off against one another on Saturday in an effort to capture the PBA Commissioner’s Cup for the second time in a row.
At 6:45 p.m., the Hotshots and FiberXers square off. in what is anticipated to be an epic clash between Nick Rakocevic and Quincy Miller at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
On Wednesday, Rakocevic stunned almost everyone by guiding the Hotshots to a 100-92 victory over the Terrafirma Dyip with a 45-point, 25-rebound performance.
Miller had his own stunning PBA debut five nights prior, scoring 38 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in their 124-110 thrashing of the Dyip.
Rakocevic, a 24-year-old Serbian dynamo, and the FiberXers’ prized find, a former NBA player who spent time with the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons, compete against one another in an effort to lead their respective teams to consecutive victories.
In their 14-point victory over the Dyip, Converge gave Ayo a wonderful welcome-to-the-club gift. Miller led seven FiberX players in double-digit scoring.
The hardest games have always been the opening ones. You are unsure of what to anticipate. Since running is our game, we just need to step on the pedal and go full speed ahead, Ayo remarked.
Rakocevic’s vigor on the court led Magnolia coach Chito Victolero to refer to him as “another Calvin Abueva.”
Abueva, who was absent from the Hotshots’ game against Terrafirma on Wednesday, will finally be paired up with Rakocevic on Saturday.
Last Friday, the FiberXers defeated Terrafirma admirably, 124-110, in head coach Aldin Ayo’s PBA debut for the team.
Prior to the game, there were rumors of a transaction involving Converge that would allow the FiberXers to obtain Jerrick Balanza and Kevin Ferrer from NorthPort in exchange for Allyn Bulanadi and Tyrus Hill.
After two convincing victories in a row, the Dragons want to maintain their perfect record. Last week, Myles Powell’s buzzer-beater helped Bay Area overcome NorthPort, 105-104, following a 46-point triumph over Blackwater.
After losing its first two games, Phoenix is determined to start a winning streak.
Phoenix Super LPG is used to dealing with difficulties of some kind.
Coach Topex Robinson is among those most interested in how his Fuel Masters will do against Bay Area on Saturday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum after overcoming their previous setbacks.
The host club is seeking to secure a third victory, maintain its early lead, and reinforce the growing public perception that it will challenge for the championship. Phoenix is hoping to finally break the win-column after failing in its first two games.
Robinson must concur with that initial conclusion. With the way they’re playing, he said, “They could win the title. Ang lalaki, ang gagaling.”
(They could win the championship, the way they’re playing. They are huge, and they play really good)
Robinson gave his players another source of inspiration. Iyon na lang talaga for men like Simon Camacho, Chris Lalata, and Larry Muyang, he said. “Lost opportunity there opens up opportunity para sa iba.”
(Lost opportunities open up opportunities for others)
Give ourselves an opportunity to compete, Robinson added, “Laruin lang namin ‘yung dapat naming laruin, ‘yung pinaghandaan namin.” “Instead of matakot ka doon, thrilling gawin mo lang siya,
(Let’s just play what we have to play, what we’ve prepared for. Instead of being afraid of that, just make it thrilling,)