Defense is key to Alaska’s dominant win
Alaska has proven time and again that its offense indeed starts with its defense.
On Friday, Aces showcased their defensive might en route to a precious quarterfinals seat in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.
Alaska limited Phoenix to 38-percent shooting from the field and scored a 106-85 rout to earn its place in the playoffs.
“We executed well on offense and the defense was still there. We know the stakes of this game. We needed to work hard and the reason why we won was because we worked hard for it collectively,” said Kevin Racal.
Known as a sturdy defender, Racal benefitted from his tireless efforts and racked up a career-high 20 points to go with three assists, two rebounds, and a steal.
The sophomore out of Letran shared that the Aces knew how big the game against the Fuel Masters was and did what they could to get the win, with the top two still within reach.
And the players rose up to the challenge, displaying their relentless defensive effort and showing tremendous energy for 48 minutes to improve Alaska’s standing at 6-4.
“Actually, since from our game against Mahindra, we already said that the playoffs have already started because if we lose, we’re in danger of falling out of the playoffs. This is a big thing for our team because we need to win these two games starting with today against Phoenix.”
With a game left in the Aces’ schedule, Racal said that the team’s approach will remain the same as they zero in on that coveted top two seat.
“We’ll still do the same: play as a team because Rain or Shine is still a tough team,” he said.
Alaska and Rain or Shine meet next Wednesday at Cuneta Astrodome.