Pesky Alaska defense hums | Inquirer Sports

Pesky Alaska defense hums

Aces out to close out E-Painters
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:16 AM January 03, 2015

CALVIN Abueva, Alaska’s 6-1 enforcer (left), harasses Rain or Shine slotman Raymond Almazan in Game 4 at the Big Dome. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

CALVIN Abueva, Alaska’s 6-1 enforcer (left), harasses Rain or Shine slotman Raymond Almazan in Game 4 at the Big Dome. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Alaska has made its trapping full-court press its trump card in the PBA Philippine Cup this season.

Tireless on the defensive end, the Aces have run opponents to the ground with their defense to qualify as the third seed after the elimination round, conquer two foes in the quarterfinals and take a 3-2 lead over Rain or Shine in their Final Four series.


Coach Alex Compton has made no qualms about the way they play, most especially on the defensive end.


“Everyone can see how we do it (defense),” Compton said.

And Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao feels that having played the Aces five times in the semifinals and once in the classification phase, his Elasto Painters should be able to handle the press better going into Game 6 tomorrow at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

“The more games we play them, the more familiar we get with their pressure defense,” Guiao said yesterday as his Painters resumed practice. We should no longer be surprised [with the pressure defense].

“By prolonging the series, you’re better able to handle the press.”

Alaska has shut down some of the most prolific teams with its press, with the man making a bucket underneath laying the pressure by harassing the inbounder.

Pesky is the word that can best describe the Aces’ defense with Calvin Abueva leading the way and relief point guard Ping Exciminiano making life hard for Guiao’s point guards.


“They say that the way the team plays defense is a reflection on the coach,” Compton had said in jest while his Aces were hot on a six-game winning streak in the eliminations.

“I don’t know what happened, because I was never able to guard anybody while I was playing,” Compton said, laughing.

But the hole Rain or Shine is in is definitely no laughing matter, and Guiao feels that they would need to control one very important department if they are to take this series into a deciding Game 7.

“Based on the results of the first five games, we have never won the rebounding battle,” Guiao said. “We’re giving up too many [extra] possessions because of that.”

However, the Aces certainly know that the Painters will not fold up easily despite the deficit they are facing.

Actually, recent history shows that if there’s any team that can win two KO games in a row against them, it is the Painters.

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Rain or Shine erased a 1-2 deficit in a best-of-five series and won over the Aces in the Governors’ Cup semifinals last year before eventually bowing to Grand Slam champion San Mig Coffee in the title series.

TAGS: Alaska, Basketball, PBA Philippine Cup

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