EVEN after getting blown out of the court by Globalport Tuesday night, Alaska coach Alex Compton is not about to make the Aces’ injury woes as an excuse in their latest loss in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Four key Alaska players failed to suit up in the team’s 95-73 loss to the Batang Pier at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Forwards Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel joined veteran slotman Sonny Thoss and JV Casio on the sidelines as the two went down with knee injuries which they suffered in the team’s game opposite NLEX last Saturday.
Thoss has been out with a partial tear on his right plantar fascia, while starting point guard JV Casio had a wrist injury.
But Compton felt with 12 healthy players in uniform, he was expecting the Aces to compete hard against the Batang Pier.
“Obviously, they (four injured Alaska players) are important to us, but we don’t make excuses,” said Compton, whose team opened the tournament with a 108-88 loss to defending champion Purefoods Star.
“We have 12 guys in Alaska uniform there, so we gotta play harder.”
Other than import DJ Covington, who finished the game with 25 points and 14 rebounds, Alaska only had Dondon Hontiveros scoring in double figures with 11 points.
Compton lamented the team’s lack of energy to go for the loose balls, something Globalport did so well in the game, leading to a 17-10 advantage in offensive rebounds and an 11-4 edge in second chance points.
“The thing that’s troublesome is they (Batang Pier) beat us to the balls, and that’s not our identity. That’s not who we are. That’s disappointing,” rued the 40-year-old Alaska coach.
“I understand you can’t win every game. You lose some and sometimes you have off nights,” he added.
“But you gotta pursue the ball because I thought they pursued the ball harder than we did. And that’s not acceptable.”
Alaska takes a six-game respite, before returning to action next Tuesday against Philippine Cup Finals tormentor San Miguel.
Hopefully, Abueva, Manuel, and Casio would be back in Alaska’s roster by that time.