ALASKA veteran Cyrus Baguio blames the Aces’ inconsistencies on defense as the culprit for their never-ending struggle in the PLDT mYDSL-Philippine Cup.
Baguio noted Alaska is going all-out in every game, but by relying on individual defense against a much-improved team like GlobalPort, the Aces proved to be easy prey.
“Ang hirap manalo eh. Lahat na lang ng kakalabanin namin pukpukan talaga. Kailangang magsama-sama kami, mag-basahan,” lamented Baguio after the team’s 88-91 overtime loss to the Batang Pier on Sunday that dealt a crucial blow to the team’s quarterfinal chances.
“Hindi puwedeng individual defense.”
Compounding the team’s seemingly endless woes was the absence of flamboyant forward Calvin Abueva, who the team said is out with a sprained ankle, although team sources insist he was merely disciplined for missing practice on Saturday.
The 33-year-old Baguio said the Aces blew a golden chance to get their bearings back against a Batang Pier squad that is missing the services of injured Fil-Am forward Jay Washington.
The 6-foot-7 Washington is out for the conference after partially tearing his plantar fasciitis during the first quarter of Globalport’s 87-98 loss to Petron last Friday.
“Nandiyan na eh. May opportunity na manalo, pero nataon lang nagka-sprain si Calvin at wala si Washington. Now, move on na lang talaga, and focus sa next game sa Barako Bull,” rued the 2007-2008 Most Improved Player.
Baguio noted the Aces' numerous endgame collapses should serve as a warning that they are simply holding on to some bad habits.
“Konting jell pa siguro though sana matuto na kami sa mga maling nangyari sa amin. Mawala na yung mga bad habits,” he added.
The Aces, who absorbed their third straight setback, fell to ninth spot with their anemic 4-9 record.
Alaska now faces a must-win match on Friday against the Energy, a team that is also fighting for a quarterfinal spot in the tight race for the playoffs.