In what could be the biggest headache of opposing teams in the 2010 PBA Fiesta Cup Alaska Aces coach Tim Cone plans to field a twin tower combination of 6-7 Sonny Thoss at power forward and new recruit 6-9 Sam Eman at center.
Rather than alternating Thoss and Eman at the slot coach Tim will play the two big men on the floor at the same time.
Thoss welcomes the idea and is excited to show what he can do at his new position at the wing. He realizes however that it will entail a lot of hard work and sacrifice for the new plan of coach Tim to succeed.
I want to adjust to being able to play the wing and work with Sam on the court, said Thoss. That is pretty much my focus at the moment. We are both eager and excited during practices. We are getting used to playing together at the same time. Hopefully it will work out for us.
The Alaska big man says that he needs to be ready for the unique challenge of playing the forward spot.
Well I guess offensively I will have a huge advantage because of my size, said Thoss. But at the same time I will have to guard smaller, quicker forwards at the other end. So there is going to be a downside for me too.
Thoss says coach Tim explained to him what he needed to do and what were the expectations from him.
I will be working on my footwork and strengthening my legs, said Thoss. I will have to be quick on my feet all the time. We will see how I can guard smaller, faster forwards.
The Aces have been practicing for the past weeks with new additions Eman and import Diamon Simpson. Thoss and Eman have played not only against each other, but also alongside each other many times during scrimmages.
The Aces tested their huge frontline of Eman, Thoss and Simpson against the M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Ninos in back-to-back games in Cebu. The Aces lost the first game 87-88. They then overwhelmed the Ninos with their size and strength up front to post a rousing 87-75 victory in their second game.
Sonny and Sam have been playing great together. Sam is picking up things quickly. Sonny adjusting well to the wing position, said coach Tim.
Like the rest of his teammates, Thoss felt that the 0-4 defeat suffered at the hands of the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants (now B-MEG Derby Ace Llamados) during the PBA Philippine Cup Finals only serves as a stinging reminder that will help the Alaska Aces try even harder this conference. The Aces did their best but still fell short of their target the past conference.
Everybody is down losing like that, said Thoss. But we are definitely hungry to go out again and go all the way this coming Fiesta Cup conference. It (defeat in the finals) only served to make us more determined this conference.
The Aces were impressive in Cebu but are getting better everyday as newcomers Eman and Simpson continue to become better acquainted with the Alaska system and their teammates.
Comfortable akong kalaro sa loob si Sonny, said Eman. Pwede talaga kaming magkasabay sa loob. Sa Los Angeles (Lakers) nga mas malalaki pa sa amin si Pau Gasol at si Andrew Bynum. Pero sabay din sila sa loob.
Even with Thoss and Eman playing their best, the Alaska Aces may not be able to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. But with the two playing smoothly together the Aces will most likely be good enough and big enough to beat the rest of the field and win the 2010 PBA Fiesta Cup crown.