Racal, Cruz take blame for Alaska loss to NLEX | Inquirer Sports

Racal, Cruz take blame for Alaska loss to NLEX

/ 08:45 PM February 11, 2018

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Fighting back from 30 points down, Alaska had a chance to force overtime with 11.6 seconds on the clock with NLEX.

Coach Alex Compton sued for time and devised a play which he felt could have given the Aces an opportunity to tie the game at 92.

But Alaska blew it after Kevin Racal and Carl Bryan Cruz couldn’t complete and inbound play.

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“It was my mistake because I immediately passed it to Bryan while he wasn’t looking,” said Racal, who had no second thoughts in owning up for the gaffe.

Cruz also took responsibility for the endgame blunder, which was off a play they’ve been practicing for a while.

“The ball was really going to me. We were practicing for that play, but NLEX had a better defense,” he said. “When I gave JVee (Casio) a back pick, Larry Fonacier was able to bump me which delayed me from getting to the ball. If I wasn’t bumped, KRacs’ pass would have been perfect.”

That play ultimately dashed Alaska’s hopes of completing the come-from-behind victory as NLEX held on, 96-89.

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Despite the tough defeat, both forwards believe that the Aces could only draw positives from this loss as they gear towards the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.

“This is a wake up call for us that nothing comes easy,” said Cruz. “Every game, we really have to work for it. We came from a six-game winning streak and we’re up there, so it humbles us that from the start of the game, we have to keep on grinding.”

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“We just have play our game. The coaches will always be there to remind us what we should and should not do,” Racal said.

Alaska, which saw its six-game winning run end, faces San Miguel next Saturday in Batangas.

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TAGS: Alaska Aces, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Racal, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA Philippine Cup

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