IT hardly matters if you play great in the middle quarter if you don’t do the same at the beginning and end.
Alaska coach Alex Compton rued this team’s sluggish start and faltering finish that spelled the difference in their 105-97 loss to Rain or Shine in Game One of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals series on Friday night.
The defense-oriented Aces failed to live up to their identity early as they allowed the E-Painters to score 16 points within the first four minutes of the game. Although they recovered and even took the lead briefly, the Aces again failed to make the necessary stops down the stretch.
“We gave up sixteen points in the first three minutes and forty-four seconds. As a coach, that’s just disappointing,” Compton said. “It’s not an easy pill to swallow.”
“We didn’t start out as sharp as we need to and we clearly didn’t end as sharp as we need to,” he added.
Although they shot slightly better than then E-Painters, the Aces still allowed their opponents to make 42 of their 87 shots for a solid 48 percent.
The Aces also wasted a five-point lead late in the third quarter.
“We really gave them points via our breakdowns and that’s one of the reasons why Rain or Shine’s consistently good: you make mistake, they make you pay – all the time, and they did,” Compton said.
“We made mistakes to start the game and we made mistakes to end the game. Everywhere in between, we were a little bit more solid.”
“But unless we are sharper mentally, it’s going to be a really, really tough series for us,” he added.