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The Noob's Guide to the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals

Alaska and Rain Or Shine are ready to battle. PBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

IT'S Alaska versus Rain Or Shine in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals beginning Friday. So if you're relatively new to the PBA, that is, you just began watching the games recently, here are some things you need to know.

1. When Indies Attack

This is the first time that two independently-owned clubs, that is, teams that are not owned by either San Miguel Corporation or the MVP Group, made a PBA finals since the 2000 Philippine Cup Finals between Alaska and Purefoods. To clarify, the Purefoods-Hormel Company was still owned by the Ayala Group during the said year and was only sold to San Miguel the following year. If you want the team now known as Star as an SMC-owned team regardless of their pre-SMC days, the last time two independently-owned teams never getting influence from SMC and MVP Group made the finals was in the 1999 Philippine Cup Finals between Shell and Tanduay. Curiously, Shell sold its franchise to Rain Or Shine.

2. A Second Chance

If you did not watch the recent PBA Philippine Cup Finals, let me relay to you what happened. The Aces held a 3-0 lead against the San Miguel Beermen and were four minutes away from a sweep. The latter, however, fought back and stole Game 4, igniting what would be an epic comeback from 0-3 down to win the title, the first time it ever happened in basketball per se. For Coach Alex Compton, however, making the Commissioner's Cup Finals is a second chance for them.

3. Favorite Battlefield

On the other hand, ROS coach Yeng Guiao is back at somewhat a familiar territory for him. All of his PBA championships came in import-spiced tournaments like the Commissioner's Cup. In fact, the E-Painters' first league title came at an foreigner-loaded conference. So you can say he has an advantage.

4. Ending a Drought

San Miguel's historic Philippine Cup championship actually stretched Alaska's title drought. The Aces are yet to win a PBA pennant since sweeping Ginebra in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup. However, ROS has a hunger of their own. The Elasto Painters' first title came in the 2012 Governors' Cup against Star. Simply put, the desire for the title is huge for them.

Those are just some of the main stories of the finals. There are more, but you need to watch the games to see those tales.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno