MORE than erasing the memory of a major embarrassment, veteran forward Gabby Espinas said Alaska is eager to rally behind new coach Alex Compton when the Aces take on San Mig on Friday.
“Kami mismo nahihiya kasi napakabait ni coach Alex. Kaya yung laro bukas, gusto naming ipanalo para kay coach saka para na rin sa team,” Espinas told Spin.ph after the Aces brief afternoon practice on Friday.
Espinas spoke less than 24 hours after the Aces absorbed a 51-point drubbing at the hands of Rain or Shine, 72-123, which stood as the worst loss in the history of the proud Uytengsu franchise.
It was also the most lopsided game in 28 years.
However, Compton, who was installed head coach after the departure of Luigi Trillo just over a week ago, readily accepted the blame for the embarrassing defeat.
That all the more bolstered Espinas' respect for the American coach.
“Ibang klase ang approach ni coach Alex. Eh talo na nga kami kagabi, inako pa niya lahat,” said the former NCAA MVP out of Philippine Christian University.
“Positive lang kami. Actually, nung papunta ako ng practice, iniisip ko lang talaga eh yung preparation bukas (Friday). Yung nangyari kagabi, di ko na iniisip,” Espinas added.
Star guard JV Casio, meanwhile, noted that the blowout loss was totally out of character for Alaska, which is why winning against a formidable San Mig squad would be a perfect opportunity to regain their confidence.
“Against San Mig, siguro we’ll just show our character and who we are as a team. Kailangan lang naming maipakita sa San Mig yung 110 percent effort namin,” explained the Casio, the Aces’ second leading scorer with his 14.1 points per game averaging this conference.
Both Alaska stalwarts also pointed out that the team will have to limit its turnovers as well as play solid defense against a San Mig side that is out to solidify its bid for a top four finish in the single-round eliminations.
Alaska is in the bottom half of the standings with a 2-4 win-loss record with three games left on its elimination round schedule.