THE matter was hardly discussed when the Alaska Aces gathered together on Monday for the team’s first official practice for the PBA Governors Cup.
And for top deputy cmentor Louie Alas, it was a good thing the topic wasn’t brought up.
The veteran mentor said there was hardly any mention of Alaska’s heartrending loss to San Miguel in the last Philippine Cup finals in light of the Golden State Warriors’ stunning 93-89 setback to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the deciding Game Seven of the NBA Finals.
Alas said the rest of the coaching staff – with the exception of head coach Alex Compton who is currently in Europe with Gilas Pilipinas – watched the second half of the Warriors-Cavs match inside a private room at the Hoops Center gym in Mandaluyong City and witnessed how Lebron James and Co. defied the odds by winning on the road and becoming the first team in NBA Finals history to come back from a 1-3 deficit.
Not too long ago, the Aces felt the same heartache when they lost a commanding 3-0 lead and surrender the Philippine Cup championship to June Mar Fajardo and the Beermen.
For a while there, Alas had some flash back about the sad experience but was quick to regain his senses.
“Hindi ko na iniisip yun,” he disclosed, and then added, “actually sinasadya ko na hindi isipin kasi hangga’t hindi kami nananalo ng championship, andiyan lang yan.”
Hopefully, the Aces will have another shot at the championship come the season-ending conference where they pin their hopes on import LaDontae Henton of Providence.
Compton was the one who personally picked the 215-pounder from Lansing, Michigan, who had gotten the nod of residence import Robert Dozier.
“Sabi ni Rob, ‘He (Henton) can play,” Alas said. “Nag-abot sila ni Henton sa NCAA. First year niya (LaDontae), final year ata ni Rob sa (University of) Memphis.”
Henton is arriving early Tuesday morning and will immediately join the Aces in their practice in the afternoon.
“Kumpleto na kami, without Calvin (Abueva) and yung import,” said Compton's senior deputy. “Break-in pa lang naman although we’ll progress everyday.”