Alaska wingman Calvin Abueva said the Aces’ disappointing 87-92 loss to Meralco on Wednesday should serve as a wake-up call for them as they try to regain control in Game 3 of their Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-5 semifinal series.
The Aces held a 14-point advantage early in the 4th quarter, before letting their guards down, allowing the Bolts to outscore them, 29-10 the rest of the way to level the series at 1 win apiece.
“Naunti-unti kami nung last 6 minutes. Nagkumpiyansa kami, eh panalo na. Kaya siguro nagka-kumpiyansa sila saka nahabol kami,” Abueva said.
With the series now reduced to a best-of-3 affair, the “Beast”, a leading contender for the Best Player of the Conference award, said the Aces will have to rediscover their aggressiveness come Game 3.
“Kung ano ginagawa namin sa first game and then sa Game 2 hanggang sa 3rd quarter, dodoblehain pa namin ang sipag naming sa third game saka di na kami magre-relax sa Game 3,” stressed the former PBA Rookie of the Year.
Alaska playmaker RJ Jazul on the other hand, said they will have to bring back their killer instinct in order to regain control of the series.
“Yung killer instinct kailangan ibalik. Nag-relax kasi kami sa 4th quarter saka yung execution namin hindi maganda,” rued Jazul, who after peppering Meralco with 18 points in the series-opener, was held down to just 4 points on 1-of-5 shooting in Game 2.
The Aces failed to contain wide-bodied Meralco import Arinze Onuaku who banged in 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and issued 6 assists.
The duo of Jared Dillinger and rookie Chris Newsome also proved to be thorns on the side of Alaska after combining for 39 points in Game 2.
Game 3 is scheduled on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – By Richard Dy
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