ALL-Filipino Cup reigning champion San Miguel Beermen, current No. 1 in the 2015 PBA Governor's Cup team standings as of presstime Friday, will not take the Alaska Aces lightly when they clash against each other at the Panabo City Gym at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 20.
SMB governor Robert Non, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao at the Marco Polo Hotel on Friday, said: "Alaska has a lot of shooters. You can't count them out. Kumpleto sila... low post, pointguards, offguards, forward .. yan ang strength nila. Kahit sa dying seconds nakakapuntos sila."
But Non said that the Leo Austria-coached Beermen will counter the Aces through teamwork. "I keep reminding them to play as a team since nobody is bigger than the team. Playing as one that's the only thing to win a game. Teamwork is very important, nakita mo naman sa Golden State Warriors they won the NBA championship because of team work."
Assistant coach Dayong Mendoza, son of Sun.Star columnist Al Mendoza, said the Beermen-Aces match-up will be a tough one as both teams are holding the current top two positions of the team standings.
"Alaska is also a No. 1 contender for the title. Maganda ang offense, defense at rotation ni Alaska coach Alex Compton. Hanga din ako sa import nilang si (Romeo) Travis. Magandang match-up sa best import naming si Arizona Reid," Coach Dayong said.
He said the second conference was a wake-up call for the team, thus, they are putting up a better showing this conference.
Coach Dayong added, "Namulat ang mga players from all-Filipino champion, bumulusok pababa. Pag champion may bonus, mga perks, nawala ang focus. Kaya sa third conference, narealize nilang hindi masaya sa baba, mas masaya sa taas. Nakakatuwa mga manlalaro natin... nagkusa nagpursige para makabalik ngayon No. 1 tayo sa standing."
He gave credit to head coach Austria and his fellow assitant coaches Peter Martin, Boysie Zamar, Biboy Ravanes, Jorge Gallent and Renato Agustin.
"Malaking factor din ang suporta ng management, Boss Ramon Ang at Boss Al Francis Chua at lahat nga mga bosses namin na hindi nawalan ng tiwala sa team," Coach Dayong said.
Non also said that though they target the championship, "We take it one game at a time, stage by stage. Hopefully we win the championship, win that cup. The players learned from the last conference. Now no more time to relax as every game counts. Every possession counts. Every play counts. It's a matter of staying focus on the game."
He also cited Reid who he described as a "team man", a "proven warrior, twice best import" and "he hates losing". With Reid, Non said, "Wala ka nang mahihiling pa."
Completing the team roster are David John Semerad, Ronald Pascual, Jeric Marco Fortuna, Ronald Tubid, Gabriel Espinas, Yancy de Ocampo, Arwind Santos, June Mar Fajardo, Mario Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, Chris Lutz, Chris Ross, Jayr Reyes and Nelbert Omolon.
SMB totes an 8-2 win-loss card, while Alaska holds 7-2.