Lack of size, injuries hurting Alaska Aces, says Compton
MANILA, Philippines – It’s been a conference of inconsistency so far for Alaska in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup, where the Aces opened their campaign losing their first two games before going on a 3-game winning streak and having it snapped by TNT KaTropa prior to the league’s holiday break.
Alaska’s head coach, Alex Compton, is nonetheless pleased by the effort and energy being displayed by his team, but also admitted that injuries to the roster’s frontline has been a tough hurdle to overcome.
“I think our energy and our effort’s been there in the first couple of games. We really struggled shooting the ball against NLEX… we played San Miguel missing 6 of our key guys, and we lost but I thought we played really hard,” he said.
“We won 3 games straight, we played hard tonight, we got beat by a better team. The effort’s there, I think that we need to continue to be a little more disciplined. We’re going to have to… continue playing small ball.”
Sonny Thoss and Noy Baclao are recovering from knee issues, forcing Alaska to rely on guys like JP Mendoza and Kevin Racal to play bigger than their size. Vic Manuel, the Aces’ best scoring big, was also suspended a game for violating league rules.
“I love watching JP Mendoza and Kevin Racal and Tony Dela Cruz, guys that are really lifetime [small forwards], mixing it up with the big guys, because that’s what we have to do. We’re small,” said Compton.
At 3-3, Alaska is in seventh place in the league standings, but just two games back of league leader San Miguel (5-1) for the top spot. Alaska also doesn’t play again until Wednesday, January 11 against Star, giving the team enough time to have their injured players return to action and possibly go on a winning streak.
“I’m proud of the guys in terms of their effort and we need to find ways…. cover up our shortcomings,” Compton said. – Rappler.com