Alaska coach Alex Compton only has 1 day to prepare against Rain or Shine as they begin their Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Compton said after their defensive match up against top seed Meralco, which Alaska beat, 3-2, on Wednesday in their semifinal series, the Aces will now be dealing with a Rain or Shine side that has a slew of scorers at its disposal.
“We gotta make stops and we gotta make shots because I honestly think if we don’t bring our absolute best on defense, it will be a tough series,” Compton told media men during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals press conference at the PBA Cafe Metrowalk in Ortigas, Pasig.
The American coach admitted that Rain or Shine is dangerous due to its ability to push the basketball at any given time, a wide-bodied import Pierre Henderson-Niles to deal with and tons of playoff experience.
“They are so good in what they do, the way they space the floor, the way they attack, we got to be ready to defend, ” stressed Compton.
“Yes, our hallmark as a team has been to defend, but this is a different team that knows how to defend, and they play a certain way for so long and, puts tremendous pressure on defense,” he added.
Compton’s first encounter with the run-and-gun Rain or Shine side wasn’t a pleasant one, with coach Yeng Guiao’s squad scoring a comprehensive 123-72 demolition of Alaska on June 4, 2014 in the Governors Cup.
The 42-year-old Compton was just a few days old as a head coach for the Uytengsu franchise back then.
But he admitted that being a student of the game, the Alaska coach chose to pick some of the good things Guiao has done in the PBA and mixing it to his own system.
“A lot of what we do, there’s at least 2 coaches I stole a lot in the PBA, from coach Yeng and coach Tim (Cone), 2 guys that have been very successful,” said Compton.
“And I’ll keep trying to steal stuff if they keep doing good stuff,” he said with a smile.
Both teams fell short in their respective last 3 Finals trips.
Alaska settled for runner-up finishes in the last 2 Philippine Cup Finals as well as last season’s Governors Cup Finals, losing each time to San Miguel.
Rain or Shine, on the other hand, placed 2nd in the 2014 Philippine Cup and Governors Cup, as well as a runner-up finish behind TNT in last season’s Commissioner’s Cup. – By Richard Dy
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