PBA 43 Review: Slow but sure recovery for Alaska

Paul Lintag on Jan 06, 2019 07:20 AM
PBA 43 Review: Slow but sure recovery for Alaska
Alaska has no clear star player on its team and still no championship to show for with its current group. But while there’s no more room for moral victories in the Aces camp, slowly bouncing back from a bad year is a win.

The PBA's 43rd season was a loooooong one.

Seriously, it started December of 2017 and it ended December of 2018. That's 12 months of almost non-stop basketball.

But with the current PBA season finally drawing to a close, it's time we look back at how each team fared in 2018.

Today, we take on the Alaska Aces.

 


PROGRESS IS STILL PROGRESS

The Aces were terrible in 2017, that’s just the truth.

It looked like the string of Finals losses finally got to Alaska and the team was just uncharacteristically bad. It’s as if they forgot to win and everything was in disarray.

2018 was not without difficulties for Alaska, with the Calvin Abueva situation taking the spotlight. However, 2018 was also the year the Aces slowly rebuilt themselves from the ground up.

There’s still no championship to show for and 2018 brought another Finals heartbreak for Alaska but after falling to near rock bottom in 2017, 2018 wasn’t too bad.

Alaska had a respectable showing in the Philippine Cup before moving on to the next level in the Commissioner’s Cup. Sure, the Aces tasted defeat at the hands of the rival Beermen but Alaska making it back to the semifinals as one of the top seeds was a step in the right direction.

The Aces get some sort of revenge on San Miguel in the Governors’ Cup but the team just ran out of steam in the Finals, losing in six to the Magnolia Hotshots.

Alaska has no clear star player on its team and still no championship to show for with its current group. But while there’s no more room for moral victories in the Aces camp, slowly bouncing back from a bad year is a win.

Progress is still progress and when you emerge as the no. 1 team in the elimination round for the whole season, that counts.

 


Alaska ACES in the 2017-2018 PBA Season

Philippine Cup: 7-4 (3rd place)

Commissioner’s Cup: 8-3 (2nd place)

Governors’ Cup: 8-3 (3rd place)


Overall: 23 wins and 10 losses. Three playoff appearances, 2 Semfinals, 1 Finals.

 


POST DRAFT NOTE:

Alaska only took two players from the draft in Jesper Ayaay and G-boy Babilonia. Both are not expected to crack the rotation with the Aces returning with an intact core.

It would be interesting how Alaska can top its 2018 performance with essentially the same pieces though its worth to note that the team played better once the team let go of Calvin Abueva. That fresh start certainly benefited both parties.

What’s important for the Aces in 2019 is health as the team slowly fell apart due to injuries late in the season.

 

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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