PBA: Alaska as David against Goliath SMB? 'We've got to be accurate with that sling,' says Compton
Philip Matel on Jul 14, 2018 10:52 PM
Alex Compton emphasized on his belief on the Alaska Aces, and took a page out of the Old Testament.
With the way Game 1 went down, it seemed like Alaska was the lower seed.
The second-seeded Aces fell to the might of the powerful defending champs, the sixth-seeded San Miguel Beermen, 92-79, in the opening salvo of the best-of-five series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Dealing without assists and minutes leader Chris Banchero, who was tending to a 'significant family emergency' back home, the Aces had to fight tooth and nail but could not get over the hump against the powerhouse.
For Aces coach Alex Compton, it's a paradox. Keep it simple, but it's hard to do that against the most explosive force in the league. However, for him, even if there's a miniscule ray of hope, he'd grab it.
"I’m still… you gotta kill me to stop me from being a believer. So I see ways that we could win and you know, if there’s that .0001 percent chance left? I’m gung-ho for that .0001 chance," the mentor said after the game.
Compton rued the big number of timely shots they missed, but thanked the huge contributions made by import Diamon Simpson, who had posted great all around numbers of 31 points, 24 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 5 steals.
The team, known for its sandpaper defense, held the defending champs, who average 107.9 points per game to just 92, but still lost.
"I’m happy with our defense cause that lineup is loaded. Sometimes they sub out, and I’m like, oh my gosh, they just got better. So you know, we’ll keep doing the work. But we got our hands full. That’s obvious."
Losing their fifth straight playoff game against the Beermen, the problem posed by the flagship franchise of the San Miguel Corporation has always been the thorn in the side of the Aces.
That includes the historical 'Beeracle' in the 2016 Philippine Cup, where San Miguel became the first team in PBA history to claw back down 0-3 in a best-of-seven series.
With the addition of Christian Standhardinger, Kelly Nabong, and Renaldo Balkman to their lineup, much like facing the Golden State Warriors, a team needs to play perfectly in order to land some big haymakers on Leo Austria's team.
Despite all that, Compton emphasized on his belief on the team, and took a page out of the Old Testament.
"They're obviously good, guys, we can all agree on that. But like I said, I am a believer. So, I always think that the Davids of the world have a chance. But man, David had to be real accurate with that sling. If he was off with his aim, Goliath would have eaten him for lunch. Right? So we gotta be pretty spot on with all the stuff we're doing."
As they only have a day of rest before an all-important Game 2, the American coach is preparing for the inevitable Monday at the Big Dome.
"The good and the scary thing is we get to play again Monday. We don't have to wait a week. Scary thing is it's them we're playing. So, we'll come out...I thought when I say mediocre, you don't mean the effort."
"Our guys played hard. But, we'll just got to be so sharp. Our mental errors, they got to be – I won't say cut in half, they need to be drastically limited for us to win some games."
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