ALASKA import Henry Walker expects an even tougher Game Four for the Aces when they try to zero in on a Finals berth in the PBA Governors Cup opposite Rain or Shine.
Walker provided the fourth quarter fireworks with his medium-range jumpers and crucial free throws down the stretch to steer the Aces to the crucial 104-94 victory on Tuesday night and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five semifinals series.
“Man, it’s (Game Four) gonna be the toughest game I will have here on Thursday,” said Walker, who managed to keep his cool amid the physicality dished out by Rain or Shine’s rugged defense.
“I’m sure those (Elasto Painters) guys don’t want their season cut short and they’ve got a couple of national players in there, so those guys can ball,” added the NBA veteran, who finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists to outplay Rain or Shine counterpart Arizona Reid.
And despite claiming that he has been punched and left banged up by Rain or Shine defenders' 'dirty tactics,' Walker said he holds no grudge against Alaska’s opponents.
“Sometimes, it (game) gets a little physical, but I don’t have anything personal against those guys. It’s never personal for me because I just want to play and win,” he added.
“I don’t dislike any of those guys because at the end of the day, we all want to win so you got to do everything you can to get the advantage against those guys.”
The import said his talk with Alaska coach Alex Compton helped him keep his cool against Rain or Shine’s physical defense, which got him out of focus in the Aces’ 99-87 loss in Game Two.
“He (Compton) just told me to look at it (physical defense on him) as a sign of respect because they think you’re pretty good so they’ll play you hard,” the 26-year-old former Kansas State standout said.
With that perspective, Walker said he knows that both teams have the same goal and that is to play in the Finals and hopefully, win the season-ending championship.
“We’re in the playoffs. Everybody wants to win, so we got the same goal. We want to be champions,” said the Alaska import.
Alaska will go for the jugular on Thursday and as it eyes a first Finals stint since capturing the championship of last season’s Commissioner’s Cup.