Tim Cone: We have to go through Alaska to get to next level

Barangay Ginebra’s 3-game winning streak is no doubt, a good confidence booster.

But veteran forward Joe Devance said the Kings are bracing for a tough battle on Wednesday when they clash with the Alaska Aces in a battle of streaking teams in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Since opening the conference with back-to-back losses to NLEX and GlobalPort, Ginebra has won 3 straight, holding its opponents to an average of just 88.3 points per contest.

“It’s great to build momentum in the conference,” Devance told FOX Sports after the team’s Tuesday morning practice at CCF gym in Ortigas, Pasig.

“But it’s always gonna be a hard game playing against Alaska.”

The 6-foot-7 Fil-Am forward said every Ginebra player understands that the path to becoming a championship caliber squad requires going through adversity.

And one way of testing their mettle and progress as a team is by playing the Aces.

“We really understand that the path will be hard,” explained the left-handed Devance.

“And we know we’ve got to get back on defense because I think Alaska is no.1 in the league in transition.”

Cone couldn’t agree more.

“If we want to get to the next level. We’ll have to go through them. That’s a tough hurdle to leap over,” Cone said.

Ginebra’s only meeting with Alaska this season was a 93-92 escape act during the Philippine Cup on Nov. 8 last year in Dubai behind Greg Slaughter’s game-winning free throws.

“The last time we played Alaska seemed like ages ago,” Cone recalled.

“It was in Dubai and we got them on the 2nd of back-to-back games and we barely won,” he added. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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