DONDON Hontiveros had no choice but to focus on the positives after Alaska’s blowout loss to San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night.
The Aces met the Beermen for the first time since the Philippine Cup Finals and lost to their tormentors for the fifth straight time – in emphatic fashion this time.
It was the Aces’ first defeat to the Beermen in an elimination-round game since coach Alex Compton took over two years ago.
“Maganda na rin na it happened this early para ma-correct namin ang mga kailangan gawin,” Hontiveros said, pointing to their uncharacteristic porous defense that allowed the Beermen to knock down 17 three-pointers.
“Defensively, marami kaming lapses,” Hontiveros said. “Mahirap depensahan yung team na maganda ang shooting.”
The hot shooting was more than enough to make up for the absence of injured SMB superstar June Mar Fajardo.
“All the other guys nag-step up sa kanila,” Hontiveros said as the Aces, however, shot blanks, as they made just five of their 22 attempts from beyond the arc.
Hontiveros, who typified the woeful shooting by missing all his three triples to wound up with just two points in 14 minutes, insisted the Aces have moved on from their finals heartbreak and they had set their sights on the immediate task at hand, only for their trademark defense to break down.
“Hindi na namin naiisip yun,” the Alaska gunner said. “Ang ano namin is how to get back on the next play, pero yung ginagawa namin na pag-trap, they were able to convert.”
“Ilang beses na nila kami nakalaban, so alam na nila kung paano ma-atake yung pressure at sa transition, nakaka-shoot sila,” Hontiveros added.