PBA Finals: Alaska 'punched in mouth' in lackadaisical effort vs Magnolia

Philip Matel on Dec 06, 2018 08:00 AM
Alaska punched in mouth in lackadaisical effort vs Magnolia
Mike Harris knows he must play better if they do not want to dig themselves in an 0-2 hole.

The Alaska Aces' 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals start has gone off the wrong foot.

From tipoff, their opponents, the Magnolia Hotshots looked like a team one step ahead and zoomed to a quick 15-0 run to start Game 1.

Furthermore, the swarming defense of Magnolia prevented the Aces from scoring for over the first six minutes, their scoring drought parched by two free throws by Kevin Racal.

Coach Alex Compton's squad slowly fought back and trimmed the lead to 12 at halftime, 52-40, with Mike Harris' 17 points leading the way.

However, the 35-year old reinforcement just scored three markers in the second half and lost, 100-84.

"They hit us in the mouth, took us too long to respond and then once we made a run, we cut the lead in the second half to eight. Two bad mistakes and it came back to 13. They just played harder than us tonight," said Harris after the game.

Alaska's poor start was deja-vu all over again for the team, as they also exhibited a nightmarish start against the seventh-seeded Meralco Bolts in Game 1 of the best-of-five semifinals, 97-92.

However, they bounced back and won the next three to advance to the best-of-seven championship series.

With a similar start, the former NBA player knows it's not too late to respond.

"They punched us, but the best thing about getting punched is if that you're strong enough, you'll get up. Punches hurt. It will hurt tonight, sleep on it, and tomorrow forget about it."

About his three-point effort in the second half, Harris just laughed it off, but noted he needs to be more aggressive if they want to tie the series in Game 2 on Friday.

Three-point and free throw shooting were the main culprits in Alaska's loss, Harris lamented, his team just shooting 7/28 from downtown and a sub-par 19/32 from the line.

With that said, Harris knows he must play better if they do not want to dig themselves in an 0-2 hole.

"I'm not here to point fingers at anybody except for myself. So, it's me. I could get more offensive rebounds, I can get defensive rebounds, push it a little more, put a little bit more pressure on. Tonight they made the right reads, we didn't."

 

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