Aces, Kings, E-Painters itching to bounce back
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - October 27, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Alaska Aces, the Barangay Ginebra Kings, and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will try to bounce back from their previous setbacks as they see action in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble play today at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Coming off an 88-92 loss to the resurgent San Miguel Beermen that ended their three-game winning streak last Saturday, the Aces hope to regain their rhythm as they battle the listless TerraFirma Dyip in the 4 p.m. opener.

Likewise, the Kings seek to rebound from their stingy 92-102 defeat to the Magnolia Hotshots last Sunday that tarnished their once clean 4-0 record when they square off against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the main match at 6:45 pm.

The E-Painters too are itching to get back into the winning track after their three-game winning roll was halted by the Aces via an 88-89 thriller last October 22.

The 3-3 Aces are the odds-on favorite against the Dyip, who are still luckless in four starts, but coach Jeff Cariaso and his wards are not taking TerraFirma lightly.

Cariaso though relished the progress they made as action heats up inside the PBA bubble.

“I feel we grew up a little bit each and every game as we progressed. Our defense improved a little bit more as we progressed. That’s really all you can ask for in this kind of situation, in this kind of conference in the bubble,” said Cariaso.

Also, there’s the growth of individual personalities in the team. Not to be overlooked is Barkley Ebona.

The rookie out of Far Eastern U had his breakout game with a career-best 24 markers in their 120-82 rout of Blackwater on October 20.

Ebona has since been on a roll, sharing top scoring honors with Vic Manuel (18 markers) in their loss to the Beermen.

“We’re happy with the growth of Barkley. He’s still learning and improving,” said Cariaso. — with report from PBA.ph

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