SINGAPORE — Coach Mac Cuan is hoping the improvements he has seen the past three weeks would be enough for Alab Pilipinas to get back at Singapore Slingers when they clash on Sunday in the Asean Basketball League at the OCBC Arena.
Cuan plays its first road game on a two-game win streak, but those were both against winless Kohsiung. He admits the Slingers were the better team when they faced off in November in Laguna.
Now, the Cuan is aching to get back.
“It just so happened na at that time, they were the better team. Hopefully, this team, we are a better team and we are more prepared,” said Cuan.
“I want that victory,” said Cuan. “I really want it bad. I felt that they took something away from us in the first game. I really felt we could have won that ballgame.”
Unfamiliarity among teammates may have cost them the opener, having trained together only a week before, but Alab has since made big improvements.
The players have also learned their place in Cuan’s system, working more fluidly now around Fil-Am star Ray Parks.
The former NBA D-League player has been leading the way for the Philippines-based club, averaging 35.5 points in the two victories including a 41-point effort against the Truth on Sunday at the Olivarez College gym in Paranaque City.
“We were not really prepared in the first game. We had one week of practice. More on hindi namin gamay ang isa’t isa. Nangangapa pa kami. Halos wala kaming na-run na play. It’s all individual talent and wala pang teamwork,” said Cuan.
Cuan stressed the importance of sticking to the system as they face a tough team like the Slingers.
“For us to have a chance to win, we have to be mentally ready. We have to be locked in and do what we are supposed to do,” Cuan said.
Alab Pilipinas is running third behind Hong Kong (4-0) and Singapore (3-1) in the six-team league.