BARAKO Bull needs to be the disciplined team it was before if the Energy are to arrest their losing streak in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Coach Koy Banal stressed the point as the team goes up against Alaska in Tuesday’s main game at the Astrodome.
After a fiery start which saw the team jump off to a 3-0 start, Barako Bull dropped its last two matches, including a 99-81 beat-down at the hands of Globalport last week.
“Nawala kami sa huwisyo nung game against Globalport, saka yung mga talo namin, di kami naging disiplinado sa defense,” Banal said.
While Nigerian import Solomon Alabi has been churning out solid numbers of 23.6 points, and tournament-best 22.4 rebounds and 4.8 blocks, Banal said the locals will have to step up big-time against an Alaska side known for its discipline.
“Alam naman natin, once they (Aces) turn on their defense, ibang klase na ang Alaska kaya nga the key for us is to match their intensity,” explained Banal.
The Barako Bull mentor acknowledged Alaska new import Damion James gives Alaska a go-to-guy who can be a threat both inside and outside.
“Si Damion, energy guy iyan, malakas sa loob saka may laro pa sa labas, parang Lebron-type of player,” Banal added, referring to Cleveland Cavaliers star Lebron James.
On the other hand, Alaska coach Alex Compton said the Aces will have to find ways to contain Alabi and make sure the defense forces him to settle for jump shots instead of scoring at will inside.
“Barako is one of the best defensive teams in the league right now because of coach Koy Banal,” said Compton.
“And Alabi is an impressive import so we have to find ways to limit him.”
The Aces, currently at eighth spot with a 2-3 record, are coming off a 99-89 loss to Rain or Shine.
James, 24th pick overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, debuted for 28 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks against the Elasto Painters.
“Having a couple more practices helps Damion James but he still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of our system,” said Compton, whose team expects to play energetic forward Calvin Abueva after recovering from a sprained left ankle last week.