Header Ads Widget

PBA Philippine Cup Finals Preview: Alaska vs. San Miguel

How will Junemar Fajardo's injury affect San Miguel's cause? PBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

THEY are at it again.

Alaska and San Miguel collide anew in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup Finals beginning Sunday. Could this best-of-seven series re-ignite their rivalry?

History: This is the second straight time and third time in the last four conferences that the Aces and the Beermen met in the Last Dance. In fact, this is their ninth head-to-head championship series, just one behind the fabled Crispa-Toyota rivalry that led to a league record ten finals clashes. Not to mention they are the two winningest franchises in the league right now.

What Now: Both Alaska and San Miguel came into the playoffs as outright semifinalists, and they bucked off the long Christmas break to barge to the finals. Alaska shrugged off Terrence Romeo's Game 1 explosion and virtually swept GlobalPort in the next four games for the first finals berth. San Miguel, on the other hand, blitzed from a poor Game 1 start and losses in Games 2 and 3 and won three straight against Rain Or Shine for the other finals berth.

Key Match-Up: Arwind Santos vs. Calvin Abueva-Two PampangueƱos will be focused a lot in this one, especially that Santos' behemoth comrade Junemar Fajardo is nursing from a knee injury which sounds too nasty already. Known for their work ethics despite their respective frames, both Santos and Abueva will surely lock horns.

Stats to Watch Out: Speaking of Fajardo, the stat to watch out is his numbers themselves. How will the Beermen compensate his usual contributions that they may dearly miss? And how will Fajardo's match-up, Sonny Thoss, benefit from his potential sidelining?

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno