JEFF Cariaso has been in the PBA for so long, both as player and coach, but swore he never played three games in three straight days.
Not until the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup played in the middle of a pandemic.
“I don’t think I have. I was trying to recall that same question. Even as a player, I don’t think I had the benefit of playing three straight games,” said the Alaska coach as after the Aces hurdled the first of the three consecutive PBA Philippine Cup games they have to play in a week’s span on Friday night.
“In the finals, normally it’s back-to-back. So it’s every other day, so we’re used to that.”
But Cariaso and the Aces were left in a grueling scenario after the team was placed under the league’s health and safety protocols that forced Alaska to miss games for an entire week.
The Alaska coach isn't complaining.
“It is what it is. We have no excuses,” said Cariaso. “We’re going to this as ready as we can and we’re going to play as hard as we can.”
The Aces did that after dominating defending champion Barangay Ginebra Kings all game long in an 89-75 win in which they led by as many as 23 points.
But the celebration was short-lived, according to Cariaso, as Alaska faces league-leader TnT Tropang Giga less than 24 hour later, followed by Terrafirma on Sunday.
Cariaso said the Aces are taking it one game at a time.
“It’s the situation given to us. So we have to be ready for that despite playing consecutive games,” he said. “But it doesn’t matter to us that we’re the only ones (to play it) maybe this conference. It happens. Unfortunately, nobody wanted it to happen. But there are games to be played so I think that’s where the focus is.
“But we’re gonna handle this adversity the way we think is best by sticking together and playing our brand of basketball.”
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