IT’S better to consistently be in the finals and lose than to not reach this far at all.
That seems to be the message Alaska coach Alex Compton tried to send after his Aces failed to shed their tag as perennial bridesmaids following its Commissioner’s Cup Finals loss to Rain or Shine.
The Aces’ bid for an improbable comeback came to an end after surrendering a 109-92 decision in Game Six on Wednesday night.
“I’m not going to be ashamed of our character,” Aces coach Alex Compton said as his team came up short in the finals for the third straight conference - and fourth over the last five. “One thing I’m really proud of my guys is that we lost two straight finals, (yet) we didn’t give up, were back up here.”
“There are ten good teams that didn’t get here,” he added. “We had all day from the start to make excuses, so it makes me so proud of these guys they didn’t make alibis, they didn’t make excuses.”
Not a few thought Alaska would have a tough time to recover after a devastating Philippine Cup Finals loss to San Miguel Beer as they ended up on the wrong end of the greatest comeback in league history.
It appeared the Aces heartbreaks continued as they lost their midseason tournament opener without an import. Then they brought in Shane Edwards, who led them to a winning streak that proved they have moved on from that all-Filipino conference heartbreak.
Fast forward to the playoffs, the Aces survived five do-or-die games, before finally folding on Wednesday night.
“It makes me proud to coach these guys,” Compton said. “I think that some mentally weaker teams would have given up after what happened last conference, but our guys didn’t.”
While not making promises that the Aces will be back in this position in the Governors’ Cup, Compton assured one thing.
“We are gonna get back to the finals or maybe we won’t, we are gonna win the championship or maybe we won’t. But we're gonna keep fighting,” he concluded.