Struggling to get their rhythm all conference long, Star and Alaska collide as both teams try to snap their respective skids as the PBA Governors Cup action shifts to Panabo City, Davao del Norte on Saturday.
The Hotshots have lost back-to-back games since beating the GlobalPort Batang Pier almost three weeks ago.
But the Aces are not in a good situation either, having dropped their last 3 assignments to end up tied at 1-4 with the Hotshots for 10th to 11th spots.
The skid is the longest under coach Alex Compton since Alaska lost four straight to San Miguel in the Beermen’s precedent-smashing 4-3 Philippine Cup title conquest this season.
Game time is at 5 p.m.
Star though will try to draw inspiration from the late legendary coach Baby Dalupan, who passed away a few days ago.
Twenty-six years ago, Dalupan steered the Purefoods franchise to its first-ever PBA championship behind its historic comeback from a 0-2 Finals deficit to beat Alaska in the Third Conference.
The championship proved to be Dalupan’s swan song in the league that saw him become the winningest coach with 15 titles, until Tim Cone broke it in the 2014 season when he led San Mig (Star’s former name) to the Grand Slam. Cone now leads the league with 18 championships as a coach.
“San Miguel Purefoods Corp. extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family of coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan. Philippine basketball has just lost the epitome of coaching greatness,” said Star board governor
Rene Pardo in an official statement as they mourn with the basketball community in the passing of the 92-year-old Dalupan.
Star team manager Alvin Patrimonio has been selected, along with cage legends Atoy Co and Allan Caidic to pay tribute to the man known as “the Maestro” on Sunday just before the Ginebra-Rain or Shine match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
Patrimonio, the face of the Purefoods franchise, was a vital cog for Dalupan’s team in 1990 against Alaska.
Both teams are expected to leave everything on the floor considering that they have a lot of catching up to do with the elimination round now at its halfway mark.
Only the top 8 will advance to the knockout quarterfinals, with the last 4 taking an early vacation from the season-ending conference.– Richard Dy
Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava