NLEX poisoned Magnolia with a dose of its own medicine in its 91-79 win in Game Four of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Friday night.
Kevin Alas credited the Road Warriors’ defense for limiting the defense-oriented Hotshots to just 36.8-percent shooting after making just 28 of their 76 shots as a unit.
“Parang siguro yung last game namin, masyadong focus namin kay Paul [Lee], now our focus is stopping the whole team eh,” Alas said. “Coming into this game, ang ganda nung mentality nung team na hindi lang namin kailangan i-stop si Paul, Ian [Sangalang], we have to stop the whole team. I think maganda yung adjustment namin.”
While they limited Paul Lee to just 14 points in Game Three following a 27-point Game Two explosion, the Hotshots failed to cover Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang, and Rome dela Rosa in their 106-99 loss.
But on Friday night, the Road Warriors put the clamps on all the Hotshots’ key players: Lee (3-of-11), Jalalon (4-of-11), Sangalang (5-of-15), with only Dela Rosa shooting decently with a 4-of-7 clip, and Mark Barroca making five of his eight shots for 11 points.
Alas, who also contributed on offense with 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, six boards, five assists, two steals, and just one turnover in almost 26 minutes as a starter, is hoping the Road Warriors can sustain their momentum to move on the verge of a historic finals appearance.
“Game Five…we know the importance of that naman,” Alas said. “Siguro, we have to go into practice... kumbaga chess match na ‘to eh. Siguro it's a matter of giving your 100 percent kasi sometimes going into the game, akala namin, we're feeling good about ourselves eh. Magandang wake-up call samin yung back-to-back losses namin.”
“Ako personally, I hoping na we're gonna make history,” he added. “But it has to start in practice tomorrow. Malaking bagay yun eh. Pag nagpa-practice kami ng maganda, nae-execute namin yung game plan sa practice, nata-translate sa game.”