As Alaska coach Alex Compton made his way out of the Gatorade Hoops Center on Tuesday afternoon, an Aces fan among a handful of supporters at the lobby shouted: “See you on Friday, coach!”
The American mentor readily responded: “I hope so,” with a big smile.
Compton, 42, is glad to see the Aces fight back against the fast-starting Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. But they still have no reason to look that far ahead.
“We have to win or its’s over,” was how he summed up the Aces’ familiar predicament on Wednesday’s Game 6 when they try to dodge another stunning bullet from the Painters in their 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“If they don’t win, it’s not over. So if you ask me who’s in more dire situation, it would be us. If we don’t win, its over. So we have to win,” added Compton, staying true on their immediate task after winning the last two matches, the last an 86-78 victory in Game 5 last Sunday.
While the momentum seems to have shifted on their side, Compton said the Aces should take care of surviving their third straight do-or-die battle.
“We’re approaching it the same way we hopefully try to approach everything—that is value each possession. All we got guaranteed for us is 48 minutes. It might be 53, it might be 58. All we got guaranteed is one game. So we better maximise the play infront of us,” he said.
“Hopefully that could be the good kind of pressure that facilitates a type of focus and I think that’s necessary to win a championship.”
To keep the Aces sharp, Compton disclosed: “Today’s kinda more of a real practice. Today was our hardest practice since the previous Tuesday. It wasn’t that it was overly hard but we have to move, we have to play.”
Compton wants the Aces to keep the momentum going but remains cautious that while they pushed hard in practice, it doesn’t guarantee them a win.
“I hope we’re focused and locked in. We’re in the right spot and we’re making it difficult for them. I thought we really had a good practice but i’t wont really mean much. We have that incredible practices when the players look like leaders then we come out terrible. We’ll find out tomorrow,” Compton said. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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