MANILA – Alaska believes the key in beating Rain or Shine (RoS) on Friday was curbing the Elasto Painters’ run-and-gun game.
This is exactly what they did in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of their semifinals match, which the Aces won 95-93.
“The biggest thing is our fourth quarter defensively, it’s the first quarter [when] we held Rain or Shine to below 20 points,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton in the PBA website.
The Elasto Painters inflicted damage on Alaska by unleashing 13 fast-break points in the first two quarters. The Aces were able to adjust in the second half, cutting Rain or Shine’s fast-break output to just 2 points.
“That’s how they beat us by 51. A lot of fastbreak, a lot of turnovers,” import Henry Walker said, referring to their blowout loss to Rain or Shine nearly 3 weeks ago.
Walker said things turned out well for Alaska when they dictated the tempo and forced Rain or Shine to slow down.
“We just tried to slow the game down. We can’t play with them in that style, nobody can. You’ve seen them beat all of the teams. We have to play our game and make it a grind-out one, and hopefully, we can beat them again, offset their three-point shooting a little bit, and hope for the best.”
The victory avenged the Aces’ dreadful 72-123 loss to the Elasto Painters, the worst defeat in the history of the Alaska franchise.
But Walker said they've moved on from their loss and were able to post 5 straight victories after that.
“I have a short memory. I don’t think about stuff like that,” Walker said. “The game was over with the next day and I was done with it. I don’t think too much about it. It was a bad game. The quicker you can erase that and get in to the next game, the better you’ll be.”
Besides, he said, their work isn’t done yet. They still have to win 2 more games in the best-of-5 series to move to the PBA Governors’ Cup finals.
“That means nothing. It’s the first of three. We’re gonna feel good about this tonight, get back tomorrow, go over some schemes. We’re not satisfied right now,” he said.
“Nobody has won a five-game series in Game 1. Hopefully, we can build on this,” he said.