JUST two days after lighting it up with their torrid three-point shooting against NLEX, the law of averages caught up with Alaska.
The Aces found a lid on the rim in the second half of their 89-74 loss to the Meralco Bolts on Sunday that ended the Uytengsu franchise's seven-game winning streak in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Aces made just 14 of their 45 attempts in the second half - and just one of their 15 attempts from beyond the arc. This was in stark contrast to their shooting in a 120-111 win over the Road Warriors on Friday where they made 14 of their 24 attempts from downtown.
It happens, said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
“We talked after the NLEX game and I told them, ‘I’m really glad you shot it so well but it’s never the formula for a championship. Sometimes you’re gonna miss shots.’
"I wasn’t hoping that it was gonna be in the next game on a Sunday but we missed good looks. That’s why the coaches always use that phrase, defense wins championships,” Compton said.
“It’s not often you win seven straight. Somebody’s gonna take you down. You lose some games in the regular season. Sometimes that happens. Guys standing by themselves and they couldn’t make it. We get a putback and we miss it. That happens,” he added.
Compton isn’t really taking the loss hard. In fact, he was satisfied with how the Aces defended as a team. They just simply missed some shots and got outplayed by a Bolts squad that was simply better on this night.
“It wasn’t like our defense was horrible. They had 89 points. It’s just that, their defense was good and we missed the wide-open ones we got,” Compton explained.
"I’d be a lot more worried today if they scored 125 points. We fought, they fought, we grinded out, they deserved to win. They made the shots and we didn’t and that’s why they got the win,” Compton added.
Thanks to their hot run, Compton still has the luxury to breathe easy and focus on improving the team without worrying about possible elimination.
It’s not an excuse to relax though, as Compton already has his sights set on the playoffs.
“At this point, one of the benefits you have after that winning streak, you’re not worried about your life. Everything’s positioning,” Compton said.
“For me, it’s how we play, how we’re doing, the things you’re gonna clean up, the adjustments you’re gonna make, how sharp we can be. I hope we win. But when you get to the playoffs, it’s really about who’s sharper in your game. That’s where we’ll focus."