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PBA Finals Preview: Alaska vs. San Miguel

Calvin Abueva's Alaska Aces and Arwind Santos' San Miguel clash in what could
be an entertaining finals series. Nuki Sabio/PBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

In a finals series five years in the making, two of the most successful franchises all-time in the PBA clash in the Philippine Cup titular showdown. Alaska and San Miguel collide in the best-of-seven championship series. Here's a rundown of what to expect in the series.

History: The last time the Aces and the Beermen clashed in the finals was back in the 2010 Fiesta Conference, where the Aces beat the Beermen in six games. However, the last time they clashed for the much-coveted Philippine Cup title was way back in 1998, and it took the full seven games before the Aces defeated the Beermen then.

What Now: The Beermen and the Aces took different routes before making the last dance. San Miguel, by virtue of finishing with the best record, made the semifinals outright, sweeping Talk 'n Text in the series. Alaska, on the other hand, had to enter the quarterfinal phase before beating the other outright semifinalist, Rain Or Shine, in the Final Four.

Key Match-Up: Arwind Santos vs. Calvin Abueva-A battle between two Pampanga-based wingmen is expected to spice up the series. Arwind Santos is expected to deliver an offensive "storm" for the Beermen, while Calvin Abueva is expected to provide the hustle, the energy, and the heart for the Aces.

Other Stats: In their lone elimination meeting, Alaska defeated San Miguel, 66-63. Yes, that's the fulltime scoreline. This means defense is a big key to winning this series.