LADONTAE Henton made sure Alaska didn’t take import-less Blackwater for granted after the Elite surrendered a disappointing decision to a San Miguel Beer side that also played with an all-Filipino lineup in their matchup in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
After losing to the Beermen, who were without AZ Reid, 106-103, last Wednesday, the Elite showed no letup against the Elite, who were missing injured reinforcement Eric Dawson, not to mention local stars JP Erram, Mike Cortez, and Reil Cervantes.
“Coaches did a good job on making us focus on each and every team no matter if they got an import or not. And any team can beat any team on any given night,” Henton said after the game. “So we just made sure that we were mentally focused on getting the win and playing great defense.”
The Aces recommitted themselves to what they do best as they forced the Elite to 23 errors that translated into 38 turnover points.
The Aces were also fluid on offense as they dished out 27 assists, compared to the Elite’s 14 as Henton spearheaded the attack with 33 points on 14-of-21 shooting in just 30 minutes, on top of eight boards, three assists, one block, and one steal.
“We didn’t expect a blowout, but we just expected to come out hard and do what we do and play Alaska basketball,” Henton said. “And that’s play hard for four quarters and finish each game, which we weren’t able to do these last three, four games.”
“We needed this one big. We couldn’t go down two-and-six,” he added as his team improved to a 3-5 win-loss slate. “We still got our eyes on making the playoffs, so we got to try and win each and every game and we did it today.”