The San Miguel Beermen have had the Alaska Aces' number in the playoffs in recent years.
San Miguel and Alaska have met in the finals three times, with the Beermen coming out on top each time.
The most memorable might be the historic "Beeracle" in which San Miguel rallied from a 0-3 deficit to claim the championship. The Beermen also booted the Aces in the semifinals of the last Commissioner's Cup.
That's why scoring a 96-85 victory over their nemesis in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday meant the world to the Aces.
"It felt really great," said Vic Manuel in Filipino. "Finally we got one after several playoff meetings. It was really a great feeling to eliminate them."
"Am I happy that we beat San Miguel? Absolutely! I'm ecstatic, I'm thrilled," Alaska head coach Alex Compton said after the match at the Cuneta Astrodome. "I have respect for San Miguel, we've had our difficulties with them as everybody in the league has. But it feels good that we're not playing on Friday (rubber match)."
Compton said the team didn't let up as far as defense is concerned.
Indeed, the Aces hardly needed import Mike Harris (cramps) and Chris Banchero (sprained his ankle in the third) in the second half to come up with the victory. In fact, the Aces held the Beermen to just seven points in the third period where they turned a tight game into a breakaway.
"We talked about no matter what happens, nothing should affect our defense. We make a turnover, we miss a shot, we feel there's a miscall, it shouldn't affect our defense. And I think the guys were great about that in the second half," he said.
The Aces have some time to focus on the semifinals as they await Phoenix or Meralco.
"It will be tough. But we're ready for whoever advances to the semifinals," Manuel said.