ALASKA seeks to sustain its late-conference push as it locks horns with GlobalPort on Wednesday night when the PBA Governors’ Cup goes on the road at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
After starting the season-ending tournament with four losses in five games, the Aces have won two of their last three games, the latest a 107-87 rout of Blackwater last week.
And the Aces are eager to keep going against the Batang Pier in their 7 p.m. matchup in the hope of not only making the playoffs but reaching the finals for the fifth time in six conferences.
“We'll keep fighting,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton, whose team went past five straight knockout games last conference to get to the finals anew. “We have to have that same kind of determination and spirit behind us if we want to do something this conference.”
“Right now, we're just fighting and scrapping, hopefully to get enough wins to make the playoffs,” he added.
The Aces, running ninth in the standings with a 3-5 win-loss card in a tie with the Batang Pier, specifically want to emulate the feat of Rain or Shine in the Commissioner’s Cup where the Elasto Painters also started the conference with a 1-4 record, before making a surge on the way to ruling the midseason tournament – at the expense of Alaska in the finals.
“Hindi maganda ang start ng Rain or Shine last conference. Unfortunately, naranasan namin na maganda 'yung end nila,” Compton said. “So, kung kaya namin silang gayahin, gagayahin sana namin.”
“But it's not easy,” the American coach was quick to add. “Just the point there is that we gotta fight and scratch and claw, but as bad as 2-5 (record) was, there are games and there are chances, and we have to take advantage of it.”
The Aces, led by LaDontae Henton, are facing a squad that’s also making a late-season surge in the Batang Pier, who would’ve gone on a four-game winning streak right now if not for Ranidel de Ocampo’s three-pointer that won it for TNT Katropa, 122-120, last Wednesday.
Phoenix, another team making a late splash with four wins in the last five games after starting the conference with three straight losses, take on cellar-dwelling Blackwater in the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m.