ALASKA saw San Miguel Beer celebrate the greatest comeback in PBA history in the last Philippine Cup Finals - at the Aces' expense.
Now, the Aces are on the other side, trying to start their own monumental reversal, this time in the Commissioner’s Cup title series against Rain or Shine in Game Four on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces are on the verge of getting swept in the best-of-seven series, but are hoping to replicate the historic feat of the Beermen, who became the first team in the league to come back from a 3-0 deficit.
“We just have to think kung ano yung ginawa ng San Miguel,” veteran Dondon Hontiveros said after their 112-108 Game Three loss. “I’m speaking for myself, but (we have) nothing to lose, so just go out there swinging, pero do it the right way.”
RJ Jazul echoed his veteran teammate's sentiment.
“Sobrang rare na mangyari (ulit), pero nangyari eh, so baka pwede mangyari ulit,” the emergent combo guard said. “Sana pwede.”
But both guards are careful not to raise hope too much on the future as Aces coach Alex Compton is reminding them to keep their sights firmly on the task at hand, which is Game Four that tips off at 7 p.m.
“I’m not really going to reference that because unless we have a much better effort, it’s not a possibility,” Compton said, referring to the SMB comeback. “If they stretch together a hundred possessions on each side of the ball on Friday and if we can do it again on Sunday, then maybe we can start thinking about that.”
“But if you want to get there, you got to win the possession that’s in front of you,” the American mentor said. “There’s no four-game win. We want to win the possession and be locked in.”
The Aces lacked attention to detail in Game Three, particularly in the middle quarters where the Elasto Painters outscored them by 23 points to establish a cushion big enough to withstand Alaska’s comeback.
The Aces only turned the proverbial switch in the payoff period where they went down fighting.
“Sinasabi nga nila na kaya naman pala namin, so why do we have to wait na tambakan muna? Might as well start knowing na pag pagod ka, meron magsu-sub sa’yo,” Hontiveros said. “We’ll take those positive things na nagawa namin.”
But Compton is hoping they do perform all throughout the game.
“The marathon is broken into bits and steps,” he said. “You don’t finish the marathon in the first step, but you better be right with your step, your form, and all that.”