THE rampaging Meralco Bolts look to gain a piece of the tournament lead but they will be tested when they battle the resurgent Alaska Aces.
The Bolts go for a third consecutive victory at the resumption of the 2016-17 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup. The Bolts (2-1) can continue their move up the ladder when they test rejuvenated Alaska (1-2) 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.
Earlier, two skidding teams in the Blackwater Elite and the NLEX Road Warriors aim to arrest their slides when they take the floor at 4:15 p.m. in the appetizer.
After losing its season-opener, Meralco is giving everyone in the league a stern warning as its progress continues. They were impressive when they posted back-to-back victories.
The Bolts stunned TNT KaTropa, 98-87, last Friday to send a message that they are indeed one of the teams to watch out for.
“It feels good to be able to have this momentum right now. We’re getting more confident as we go and it’s about keeping the consistency for us,” said TNT coach Norman Black.
The Aces likewise had a nice showing the last time out, winning their first game against co-league-leader GlobalPort, 95-84, last week in a tremendous come-from-behind win after finally having a complete line-up.
In his first game of the tournament, Calvin Abueva went right to work, scoring 20 points in the win to give Alaska a huge lift.
“It’s great to have the guys back. We’re more loaded now and we’re looking forward to building on this,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
Prized rookie Ed Daquioag has been nothing short of sensational for the Bolts thus far, showing what he is capable of doing.
He has been a huge reason why Meralco is on a surge as he averaged 23 points per game in the team’s last two victories.
Even Black is high on his prolific freshman.
“Ed (Dquioag) plays like a veteran. He is very relaxed and he gives us a different dimension. He’s a smart, talented kid and it’s been a big help for our side,” said Black.
Both the Elite and the Road Warriors are slumping as of the moment. They lost two in a row.
This match between the two will be vital as they take separate paths. One will climb up the standings the other will slip further down.