By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THOROUGHLY defeated in their last outing, the Alaska Aces look to redeem themselves when they return to PBA Philippine Cup action today at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Absorbed a 91-70 shellacking at the hands of the NLEX Road Warriors on Wednesday, the Aces (3-4) are now on a two-game skid and will try to arrest that in their game versus the streaking TNT KaTropa at 4:30 p.m.
For Alaska coach Alex Compton, their loss to NLEX was a total letdown on their part as they played below what they are capable of even if they are still a few people short due to injuries.
“It (loss) was horrible and embarrassing. We had nine assists and flat on defense. We did not have energy in the game. There’s not more to say than that when the other team played better than you. We did not deserve to win in that game,” said Mr. Compton following their match against the Road Warriors.
“Most of our loses are pretty bad. It has been a challenging conference but there is no excuse for being outworked,” the coach added, who moved on and underscored that they have to shape up if they are to progress in the season-opening Philippine Basketball Association tournament.
Against NLEX, the Aces competed early but just could not sustain it for the rest of the contest to slump to the defeat.
Jeron Teng had 23 points and Davon Potts had 13 but collectively Alaska was not in synch on both ends, making it harder for the team to put up a sustained fight against an NLEX squad which played sans coach Yeng Guiao for much of the contest after being ejected in the second quarter.
Against TNT (5-3) today, Mr. Compton said work does not come easy for them.
“TNT is playing well of late. But our concern is not so much that but more on how we are playing. We have to play better than that (against NLEX). We have to respect the game better and put out our best effort,” said Mr. Compton, whose team is still without key cogs Vic Manuel, JVee Casio and Kevin Racal because of injuries.
Meanwhile, out to add to the struggles of the Aces is TNT, winner of its last three games.
The most recent of the KaTropa’s victories was over also-rans Blackwater Elite, 127-89, on March 9.
Roger Pogoy was the top-scorer for TNT in the win with 28 points followed by Jericho Cruz with 24 and Troy Rosario 17.
Ryan Reyes chipped in 14 points for the KaTropa with Don Trollano also in double digits with 11 markers.
Playing in the second game at 7 p.m. today are the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (7-3) and Meralco Bolts (3-5).
Rain or Shine has lost back-to-back games while Meralco won in its last game and is looking to extend it.