A WEEK after Alaska’s solid win over defending PBA Governors Cup champion San Mig Super Coffee, veteran big man Sonny Thoss hopes the team won’t be a one-game wonder.
And a win over league-leader Barangay Ginebra next would be a fitting follow-up to it as the two teams clash in Friday’s opening game at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Thoss said the team’s franchise-worst 72-123 loss to Rain or Shine last week pricked the Aces’ pride, enabling the Aces to recover in two days time and score a 93-84 whipping of the Mixers.
“It (blowout loss to Rain or Shine) definitely woke us up and showed the kind of character we have. We were able to bounce back on San Mig, and I hope it’s not just a one-game event,” the 32-year-old former standout from James Cook University told Spin.ph shortly after the Aces’ practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
“Now, we put that thing (win over San Mig) away and bring the same intensity and focus against Ginebra,” he added.
A lot has changed for the Alaska since Alex Compton succeeded Luigi Trillo as coach in a surprising development that somehow affected the team’s play in three of its next four games.
But the 6-foot-7 Thoss said the team is slowly but surely, picking itself up following the coaching change early in the season-ending tournament.
“Right now, we’re just trying to focus on us getting better. We’ve been through a lot this conference, trying to work on our weaknesses, working on our defense and rotation,” Thoss told Spin.ph shortly after the Aces’ practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center on Independence Day.
The Aces are currently holding on to seventh spot with a 3-4 (win-loss) record. They are 2-3 under Compton, snapping a three-game slide with that victory over San Mig.
While the team has two games left on its schedule beginning with Ginebra and followed by its match against Barako Bull on Sunday, Thoss said the Aces are ready for the Kings.
With talented rookie big man Greg Slaughter as Ginebra’s anchor in its own version of the `triangle’ under rookie coach Jeffrey Cariaso, Thoss refuses to say the Aces have an advantage as far as familiarity with the offensive system is concerned.
“It (the way Alaska plays the triangle) depends on everybody. You need all five guys to be on the same page, but sometimes, when one or two guys are not familiar with it, it disrupts the flow, so it depends on how we react with one another,” explained the one-time Finals MVP.