Unbeaten leader takes on winless cellar-dweller as Alaska Aces and Blackwater Elite collide
Coach Alex Compton hopes the Aces would not take cellar-dwelling Blackwater lightly as they look to stretch their win streak to six. Jerome Ascano

WINNING five straight to start the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup hardly excites Alaska coach Alex Compton.

Instead, the rookie coach feels the unbeaten record should all the more keep the Aces on their toes, especially when it tangles with winless Blackwater on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Elite are mired at the cellar, along with the woeful Barako Bull Energy with similar 0-5 records, but Compton said he’s more focused on making his team better as Alaska takes on the expansion squad in the 4:15 p.m. match.

“5-0 means that we’ll not lose seven games in the elims. That’s all it means. There’s no playoffs, its quotient system, and you get 11 games so I’m okay at that,” Compton said.

The American coach noted that at the end of the day, the goal is to end the conference with a championship.

“It’s a good start. It’s better than being 0-5. But the goal is not to be undefeated in the elims. The goal is to get better and win the championship,” he added.

Blackwater, a scrappy team under coach Leo Isaac, is coming off an 87-72 defeat at the hands of GlobalPort last week, its fifth loss in its maiden PBA season.

Isaac said the Elite have been preparing hard every practice, but they just couldn’t come up with a strong finishing kick in games.

“Nakita namin how hard the players work during practice, pero pagdating sa game, wala. Some of the players, sa ensayo doble, pero pagdating ng laban, bawas na,” said Isaac.

“The ideal phrase would be, we work hard in practice, we get a good game. But if we ware lousy in practice, you get a lousy game, so medyo mali ang approach sa game, but that’s an individual problem for our players,” he added.

Role players-turned-go-to-guys led by Bambam Gamalinda, Bryan Faundo and even veterans Paul Artadi and Eddie Laure are expected to carry the fight for the Elite.

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