COACH Alex Compton believes Alaska’s win over Rain or Shine in the opener of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals is a good step in convincing the Aces the Elasto Painters can be beaten this season.
“These guys (Aces) don’t stop. They work hard. The guys kept fighting, kept fighting, and kept bringing the energy, so now, the first win just gives us the knowledge that we can beat them (Elasto Painters),” Compton said on the eve of Game 2 of the best-of-seven series Saturday.
Game time on Saturday is at 5 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alaska managed to fashion out an 87-80 win behind its swarming defensive pressure that threw Rain or Shine’s offense into shamble.
Although Alaska’s defense forced Rain or Shine to commit 19 turnovers, Compton refused to fall into a false sense of security at this point.
“We still have a lot of lessons to learn because we had some breakdowns. But we know they will come back and be ready to play,” added the American coach, whose team bowed to Rain or Shine, 3-2 in last season’s Governors Cup.
On the other hand, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao pointed out the importance of at least, controlling the rebound and taking good care of the basketball as keys of pulling the series even at one win apiece.
“That’s (rebounding concern) not new to us. Yun ang concern namin before the game (Game One) because if there is a problem on the department in terms of stats, rebounding yan,” explained Guiao, whose team blew a 17-point lead in Game 1.
Alaska’s energetic frontline easily dominated Rain or Shine, 58-46 in the rebounding department.
Calvin Abueva, Alaska’s undersized forward, came down with 14 boards, Vic Manuel had 10, while Sonny Thoss grabbed seven.
Worse, Alaska’s guards Cyrus Baguio and rookie Chris Banchero collared six boards apiece.
“Lumitaw na naman yun (getting outrebounded). We have to at least even up the rebounds numbers between us and them (Aces). Kahit di kami manalo, huwag lang lumayo ng malaki because that’s extra possessions eh, and masyadong malaki yan in a close game,” he added.