ALASKA has been hurdling one adversity after another in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup so it’s no surprise head coach Alex Compton remained confident about the chances of the Aces’ team following a lopsided Game One defeat to San Miguel Beer in the semifinals.
Entering the semifinals as the second seed, the Aces dropped a 92-79 decision to the Beermen in Game One. Alaska trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, and was not able to make a decent run that would allow the Aces to mount a come-from-behind win in a game where Chris Banchero didn’t play due to a family emergency.
Despite tough odds against the defending champions, Compton said he believes his team is capable of pulling off an an upset over the Beermen.
“Undoubtedly, they are the strongest team in the last four years. Sabi ko sa mga kasama ko, kaibigan ko, the strongest team in the league is now stronger than they’ve ever been because they have a legitimate NBA import and the number one draft pick. And Nabong’s playing great. Rich get richer. They’re already a headache for the league so it’s going to be the strongest team we’ve ever faced,” Compton said.
“You gotta kill me to stop me from being a believer. So I see ways that we can win and you know, if there is that .0001 percent chance left, I’m gung-ho for that .0001 chance. Unfortunately, that feels like the odds when you’re playing them when they’re doing a good job,” Compton added.
But for a series win to happen though, Compton said Alaska would have to play at a high level in order to overcome the powerhouse squad in San Miguel. For Compton though, the Aces played well despite the 13-point defeat particularly on defense.
“I thought our guys battled. Obviously, we missed a ton of shots. We just missed a ton of shots that really hurt us. And (we had) some really bad turnovers. This is the type of series where we have to play so well to win. And a mediocre game is not getting us the win,” said Compton.
“There are some great things. Diamon (Simpson) was fantastic. But we missed shots that we have to take and make if we’re gonna win. If we can keep them in the 90s, 80s, I’m happy with our defense because that lineup is loaded. Sometimes they sub out, and I’m like, oh my gosh, they just got better,” he said.
Compton hopes Alaska will play even better come Game Two on Monday.
“I don't think you need to play a perfect game to beat them but you got to be closer to perfect. That's for sure. So, we'll see. The good and the scary thing is we get to play again Monday. We don't have to wait a week. Scary thing is it's them we're playing,” said Compton.
“But like I said, I am a believer. So I always think that the Davids of the world have a chance. But man, David had to be real accurate with that sling. If he was off with his aim, Goliath would have eaten him for lunch. So we got to be pretty spot-on with all the stuff we're doing,” he said.