ALASKA had the longest break among PBA teams during the recent holidays that coach Alex Compton jokingly said he was able to spend a week in both Hong Kong and Bangkok, two days in Singapore, and then another two days in Manila.
Seriously though, he hopes the extended vacation won’t be a factor when the Aces resume their campaign in the Philippine Cup on Wednesday against the Star Hotshots at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska last saw action on December 23 at the Philsports Arena in a loss to TnT Katropa, or a total of 18 days of not having played on the court.
The long respite is certainly a concern for Compton going into the 7 p.m. match.
“It is tough to keep the intensity exactly the same during that long break,” he admitted to SPIN.ph
During the holiday season, the Aces didn’t practice from December 24 to 26, and then from December 31 to Jan. 1. They resumed their daily grind on January 2.
“The guys worked hard, but without an immediate goal in front of us during the break, we had some rust,” the Alaska coach disclosed. "Hopefully, there is none come game time.”
The Aces are currently tied with the Hotshots at 3-3. Although their opponent is also coming off a loss – against Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day – Compton points out the Hotshots have the most potent offense in the league right now.
“They are leading the league in two-point and three-point field goal percentage and are near the top in free throw percentage,” he said. “They have great guards who can shoot the ball and penetrate, the league’s leading three-point shooter in Aldrech (Ramos), significant post threats, and they are very deep.
“We will need to be at our very best to have a chance to win this game,” Compton added.