A DEFIANT Alaska seeks to pull a game back against Rain or Shine as the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals series goes to Game Three on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Despite surrendering a heartbreaking 105-103 decision in Game Two last Sunday no thanks to Paul Lee’s buzzer-beating jumper to fall two games down in the series, Aces coach Alex Compton believes his team hardly needs motivation to get back on its feet.
“Our general, overall team character is one of great resolve,” the American mentor said. “It doesn’t mean we’re winning on Wednesday, but if something’s that close … I think it’d be a lot tougher if we lost by thirty twice.”
More than a mental adjustment, Compton reiterated that it’s their defense breakdowns they have to minimize.
“Either we get better and maybe steal a game or two in this series, but if we keep playing this way, good chance it’s going to be in their favor,” Compton said. “So we better grow quick.”
The Aces are expected to miss injured standouts particularly Vic Manuel, while Eric Menk is questionable, not to mention JVee Casio is already out for the conference.
“It’s not an excuse,” Compton said. “It happens to every team in the league. We have good players on our team.”
That leaves import Rob Dozier continuing to shoulder more of the offensive load, while hoping for a rejuvenated play from sparkplug Calvin Abueva.
“It’s all about balance,” Dozier said. “If I got a shot, then I’m going to take it and if one of my teammates got it, he’s going to take it. We’re going to keep giving the ball to whoever’s got it going.”
“But it’s going to be tough,” he added. “They’re (Elasto Painters) playing great right now. Any little mistake we make, they’re making us pay for it, so we just got to limit the mistakes we make as much as we can. I think that’s the most important thing right now.”