Jake Pascual is hoping his emotions won’t get the best of him when Alaska faces his old team Star on Wednesday.
“Sana wala, pero di mo maiwasan yung gigil sa player lalo na kung kasama mo sila dati. Sana hindi mauna yung gigil and stay with the gameplan lang,” said Pascual.
Pascual was traded to Alaska in a one-on-one swap in exchange of Rome dela Rosa last December 9. Since then, the Hotshots went 2-1 to improve to an even 3-3 standing.
But the hardworking forward isn’t too surprised at all with the way Star has been playing.
“Kahit nung nandoon pa ako, pinaguusapan namin na malakas yung team na yun. Nakikita naman namin the way we practice, yun nga lang naso-short kami sa first three games. Pero makikita mo yung improvements, na pataas siya kumpara last conference.”
Pascual isn’t bothered that Hotshots have been performing better after his trade, but rather is elated for his former comrades that they are slowly regaining the old winning ways of the Hotshots.
“Nung na-trade ako, doon lumabas yung laro nila. Very dangerous na sila. Masaya ako sa mga dating kong teammates dahil yung nilalaro nila nung offseason, nalalabas na nila sa laro.”
For his part, Pascual has also made a good account of himself with the Aces, averaging 3.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in his three games for his new team, and more importantly, providing muscle down low with the team still missing big men Sonny Thoss and Noy Baclao.
Though he doesn’t have an axe to grind against Star, Pascual said that he’s really looking forward to the duel, especially with Alaska and Star both jostling for playoff positioning midway in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.
“Excited ako sa game bukas. Big game ang magaganap bukas kasi parehas kaming 3-3, so kung sino manalo, aangat at kung sino matalo magse-stay sa baba,” he said. “Para sa akin, wala namang kung against former team, basta magta-trabaho ako at maglalaro ng maayos. Pinaghandaan namin ito.”
However, don’t think there isn’t anything at stake in this game, with Pascual sharing that he’s looking forward in getting that free Starbucks drink from his teammates Ian Sangalang and Allein Maliksi.
“Nakakausap ko naman mga teammates ko kahit papaano, at kung sino manlilibre sa Starbucks. Nagme-message pa rin kami. Di naman nawala yung bonding kahit nalipat ako ng team.”