Manuel, Alaska keeping heads up despite 0-5 start
MANILA, Philippines – Vic Manuel and Alaska still haven't lost hope that they can turn their fortunes around in the PBA Governors' Cup even after a loss to Magnolia kept them winless in 5 games.
The Aces had their best game so far, but the defending champion Hotshots were not about to give their foes their first win of the tournament as they pulled off a 95-90 victory on Sunday, October 6.
"We're still full of positives and we don't push ourselves down," said Manuel, who topscored for Alaska with 22 points on top of 5 rebounds and 3 assists, in a mix of Filipino and English.
"It's the same with our coaches – their trust in us is still there."
A silver lining for the Aces was their improved showing in the second half.
Beaten by an average of 19.5 points in their first 4 games, Alaska battled back from a 15-point hole and shaved its deficit to 90-94 with a minute remaining.
However, the Aces failed to complete the comeback after missing their last 7 shots.
"We know we'll eventually get that coveted win," Manuel said.
Although its playoff hopes continue to fade with every heartbreaking loss, Alaska will try to win at least 5 of its last 6 games to stay in the quarterfinal hunt – using Meralco as prime example.
The Bolts struggled in the Governors' Cup last year following a 1-6 start but reached the playoffs after nailing their last 4 games and bucked off a twice-to-beat disadvantage to advance to the semifinals.
"We remember what Meralco did at that time, every game was crucial for them. If they can do it, we can probably pull that off too," Manuel said.
Alaska seeks to pounce on a Rain or Shine team coming off back-to-back losses in hopes of clinching its breakthrough win when they tangle next Sunday, October 13, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com