ANTIPOLO CITY – Alex Compton acknowledged Magnolia’s defense coupled with the early turnovers committed by Alaska factored in his team’s 103-86 blowout loss Saturday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center.
Compton lauded the Hotshots’ perimeter guards of Jio Jalalon, Mark Barroca, and Justin Melton, along with the post presence of Rafi Reavis as the ones who did the great job of forcing the Aces to have a hard time doing anything.
“Those four guys were the defensive catalyst,” said Compton in referring to the four.
Magnolia’s defense also forced Alaska to struggle with its shots, making just 40 percent of its field goals (34-of-85).
And it doesn’t help the Aces’ cause either that they turned the ball over 14 times in the first half alone. They finished the game with a total of 21 turnovers.
“You can’t dig yourself a hole and turn the ball over 14 times in the first half, and expect against a team like that, ‘oh we’ll just come back and win this out,” Compton said.
The Aces managed to rally back from a 15-point deficit to tie the game at 27 at the end of the first quarter, but would play catch-up ball the rest of the way.
Alaska had one last surge in the final quarter when it cut a once 16-point spread to just 76-84, Magnolia had a ready answer behind an 8-0 run instigate by Lee and Sangalang that kept the Aces at bay.
“They’re a good team, who did a good job. They handled it, they handle our run, they came back,” said Compton. “That was it.”
The Aces remain at .500 with a 3-3 record going to their five assignments in NLEX, TnT Katropa, Meralco, San Miguel, and NorthPort.
“It’s nothing easy,” said Compton.