PBA: Lalaban tayo hanggang sa huli -- Aces coach Compton
Mark Escarlote on Jul 20, 2018 11:02 PM
Yun ang hiningi ko sa kanila, ‘lalaban tayo hanggang sa huli’. Lumaban sila -- Alaska coach Alex Compton
ANTIPOLO -- Down 0-2 in a best-of-five semifinals series against the best and most star-studded team in the league, Alaska could’ve waived the white flag.
But the Aces aren’t going down without a fight.
Faced against overwhelming odds, Alaska stood its ground and made giant San Miguel Beer know that if it wants to advance into the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals the Beermen must go through them first.
Even with their import Diamon Simpson playing hurt, the Aces blew out San Miguel, 125-104, to deny the Beermen a series sweep and live to fight another day Friday at the Ynares Sports Center here.
“I thought everybody contributed at a time where, obviously, we’re still down, at a time we’re very down,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton, whose bench produced 71 points. “To tell you what guys, I love my guys. You heard me say it before I love my guys they don’t give up.”
“We’re down 2-0 against the best team in the league, there’s every possibility to give up but they didn’t,” he added.
The Aces dropped the series’ first two games including a painful Game 2 loss where Alaska squandered a 16-point lead.
Ahead by nine points in at the half in Game 3, Alaska this time kept its hold of the lead and even extended it to 17 heading into the payoff period for a comfortable cushion.
“Yun ang hiningi ko sa kanila, ‘lalaban tayo hanggang sa huli’. Lumaban sila,” said Compton. “You know we have to play great to beat San Miguel, I thought we played great tonight.”
The mentor also praised his wards for stepping up as Simpson played with a sprained ankle he sustained in Game 2.
“I’m really proud of the guys when I had to sub him out when he looked like he was really hurt in the second quarter,” Compton said. “They were able to maintain and even at point extend our lead a little bit.”
Vic Manuel delivered 24 points while Simpson still managed to score 21 markers and grab 13 boards. JV Casio also contributed with 15 markers while Simon Enciso flirted with a double-double with 10 points and eight assists in a time Alaska need all the help it could get.
“It just feels like it was one of our days. Alam naman naming na doon sa kabila hindi biro ang bigat ng kalaban but we got one and we needed to get one,” said Compton.
Now Alaska has a chance to get back in the series and take an equalizer on Sunday in Game 4.
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