IMPRESSED with how his locals fought without an import down the stretch before absorbing the loss in Game Four, Alaska coach Alex Compton is confident the Aces can stop the Rain or Shine E-Painters this time and secure a place in the Governors’ Cup finals.
The Aces and Painters battle for the last time this season at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum after Rain or Shine extended the series to a decider with a 121-123 on Thursday.
Aces import Henry Walker was ejected with six minutes remaining in regulation and the Painters went on to win in overtime.
“We didn’t have an import for, I don’t know, maybe five minutes in the game when it was winning time. A lot of teams might have folded. But our guys didn’t,” Compton said. “I’m so proud of them.”
“Even though we lost, they proved that they can do it. Sure, we missed shots in the end, that’s how the game is decided. But they proved that they have the heart to compete. We are going to keep battling,” the American mentor said.
Alaska got another break when Walker escaped suspension following an elbow to the head of Paul Lee in Game Four. The former New York Knick was slapped with a P30,000 fine.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao also acknowledged that breaks went their way after JVee Casio slipped attempting a potential game-winning layup late in the extra session.
“We got the break of a lifetime (in Game Four). We got lucky. I guess we just have to find different ways to win, and this is the most different way to do it,” the outspoken mentor said.