A long layoff and manpower problems prevented Alaska from getting off to the good start it wanted in the PBA Philippine Cup.
For its part, Columbian has been able to relatively do well without its own top local player last season.
Whether the Aces can finally get untracked or if the Dyip can continue their sudden show of mettle would be known Wednesday when they square off at the Mall of Asia Arena.
A win by Alaska would bounce it back from a 72-85 loss to Rain or Shine last Sunday while Columbian is raring to cut short a two-game slide.
But the Aces must again make do without Vic Manuel, Jayvee Casio, Simon Enciso and Kevin Racal, who have all been sidelined by injuries.
That fact is not lost on Alaska coach Alex Compton.
“Watching Columbian I agree with (NLEX) coach Yeng (Guiao) that this team is for real,” said Compton on the eve of the match.