Katropa, Aces face struggling opponents

TNT and Alaska shoot for victories against separate opponents as they try to zoom ahead of the pack in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tied with 4-1 won-lost records, both teams will take on struggling teams with Alaska facing Phoenix (2-4) at 4:15 p.m. and TNT battling GlobalPort (1-4) at 7 p.m.

The Katropa are on a four-game streak after losing their conference opener to the Meralco Bolts, 89-94. They downed the Mahindra Floodbusters, 86-84, to share third place with the Aces behind front-runners San Miguel Beermen (4-0) and Bolts (6-1).

“Out concern against GlobalPort is how to contain their guards, Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle,” TNT Head Coach Nash Racela said. “They also have a good import now. We have to be good in 48 minutes.”

Katropa’s 6-foot-11 import Donte Greene scored 24 points and pulled down 14 rebounds against the Floodbusters. But the TNT locals failed to step up well against Mahindra with Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario combining for only 21 points.

Coming off an 85-82 win over NLEX before the Lenten break.

The Batang Pier drew balanced contributions from import Malcolm White, Pringle and Romeo in their 85-82 conquest of the Road Warriors before the Lenten break. The trio provided more than half of the team’s production with a combined 50 points. White also collared 16 rebounds.

Alaska, meanwhile, lost to Meralco, 91-99, in its previous game and so did Phoenix against Rain or Shine, 94-96.

“We will really have to be consistent in guarding them and keeping [Phoenix import Jameel] McKay from absolutely dominating the glass if we want to win this game,” Aces Head Coach Alex Compton said.