The San miguel beermen are enjoying a 2-0 lead while on the other series the Alaska Aces and the Rain or shine Elasto Painters are really fighting for the lead. Alaska just won game 3 which makes it a 2-1 standing but as far as the matchup is concerned, this won’t be a easy semis for both teams.
Why is that?
First I’m going to give you a brief detail about the Alaska Aces:
Alaska Aces lead by their head coach Alex compton is now using the full court press as their primary defense, at the start of the conference it’s been very evident that Alaska is going for that Press defense against all team and it turns out to be great for the team. Also they have a good bench which produces good numbers even with limited minutes given to them (special mention to Banchero, Eman and Exeminiano). And I would like to mention their offense, their offense is a ‘Free flowing’ style of offense which allows the players to make their decision in the court but having some default plays given by the coach, this would benefit a lot of their players especially Calvin Abueva. Abueva is not the player you would want in the triangle because it’s like you’re putting a chain on him and preventing him to explode. That’s what happened on Abueva during the helm of Coach Luigi Trillo, on the triangle abueva wasn’t able to release the beast because it’s not his gamestyle. Same goes for other players like Baguio and Espinas. Now look at what abueva is doing inside the court, He’s dominating the boards and scoring also providing Alaska a much needed energy and hustles. Now look at where are they now, they’re 2-1 in the semis
But let us not forget their Rivals for this Semi-final matchup, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters:
After the loss on the last season’s Governors Cup, Rain or shine decided to change their gamestyle from pick and roll, to Run and gun offense. Coach yeng might’ve realize that his men are capable of running (Well let’s exclude the Extra rice Inc.) and they are lacking of height. It was evident during their finals Match against San mig coffee where the big guys of SMC like Devance, Reavis and Yancy De Ocampo are dominating the bigs of Coach yeng. But the change in offense did not boggle Rain or Shine, instead it looked great for them because they finished the elimination rounds in 2nd place earning them the right to automatic Semis. Anyway, This run and gun offense can really compliment RoS because of their lineup with Raymond Almazan (6’9) only their LEGIT big guy and the rest are 6’6 below, They really have no choice but to fasten up the pace of their offense, or else other team who has a lot of big men will just eat them up.
Now why with the Kontrapelo Matchup?
It’s because of their contrasting style, Rain or shine uses the Run and gun as their offense and the Alaska using their Full court press as their defense. When Alaska Presses Rain or shine, the tendency is that Rain or shine will have to slow down because they might force a turn over but there is also a bad effect on the Full court press, If Rain or shine Breaks the press, then some of its players will have a wide space for them to drive or a kick out (if the help defense came) and might leave one RoS Player open for a trey or a easy drive to the basket.
Also it’s the style of both coaches, Yeng Guiao is the type of Coach who would field all of his available players. That is also what Coach Alex’ Becoming, During the Elimination round, we can see Sam Eman, Exemeniano, Banchero and Dela Cruz playing in the court, sometimes not just for a breather but taking over the starting 5 or the second stringers.
Now with the Kontrapelo Matchup, I guess it’s up to the players if they want to win and who has hunger to win but one thing is for sure, It’s going to be a Long series and expect a lot of Physicality and Ejections. Yes, Ejections just like earlier, Coach Yeng and Beau Belga are ejected for receiving 2 Technical Fouls. Now it’s just Game 3 of the series, and Expect more of that in the latter part of this series.