JV Casio said Alaska is unfazed by Rain or Shine, the same team which dealt the Aces their worst loss in franchise history just weeks ago, when the two teams face off again in the PBA Governors Cup semifinals.
Casio admitted the memory of a 72-123 loss to Rain or Shine in the eliminations remained fresh in the Aces' mind as they head to a best-of-five series against a team that has gone unbeaten in its past six games.
The cat-quick former Gilas guard, however, said instead of demoralizing the Aces, the defeat has served to galvanize the team and prompted it to go back to the basics under new coach Alex Compton.
“Siguro wake-up call sa amin yun (51-point loss), though more than that, the important thing is the team buying into the system,” Casio said after knocking down eight of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter in the Aces' 92-81 quarterfinal win over Ginebra on Wednesday night.
Casio said Compton didn’t make any wholesale change in the system since taking over three weeks ago. But what he did was to continue to instill that defensive-minded approach that allowed the Aces to win four games dating back to the blowout loss.
“Not much really sa change (in the system) pero si coach Alex, more on team effort, mental toughness and focus on the game ang lagi niyang sinasabi,” added the PBA’s top overall pick in the 2011 rookie draft.
And are they capable of settling the score against Rain or Shine?
“Definitely kaya naman. We want to make a series (out of it) but we just have to take it one game at a time, and just us, coming together as a team,” Casio said.