PBA: Alaska grinds out win over Columbian, but Compton ‘unhappy’
It was easy to understand why Alex Compton looked and sounded defeated even though he was doing the customary winning coach’s interview.
Playing a team that has done practically nothing worth remembering in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Compton’s Alaska Aces needed 44 points and 27 rebounds from import Mike Harris to turn back Columbian, 104-94, to earn at least a tie for a playoff berth in the season-closing conference on Wednesday night.
For such a powerhouse team to be dragged into a close contest by such a lowly squad, Compton faced reporters with a long face, a somber tone and words of displeasure towards his charges who are up for a crucial game with another top four contender on Monday.
Without Compton actually saying it, the Aces certainly didn’t need a lethargic performance like this one.
“It’s an interesting feeling, we won that game but I am really unhappy right now,” he said even after the Aces improved to 6-2 and tied Blackwater for third spot with less than three weeks left in the elimination round. “No disrespect to anybody, but my concern is my team.
“I think we’re a stronger team than Columbian, but we didn’t play the way we needed to play,” he said. “We have to get better.”
By getting better, Compton meant in a jiffy, with the Aces to slug it out with the Elite on Sunday in a match that could very well determine either side’s aspirations for a top four finish and a twice-to-beat privilege that goes with it.
“Absolutely,” Compton answered if he thinks that the Sunday clash against Blackwater is crucial. “We better be a different team (for that game) because it’s going to be a hard game for us if we play this way. That’s a massive game (for both teams).”
Harris scored 25 points in the first half and scattered the rest during times when the Dyip tried to come up with rallies.
“Good thing that he (Harris) is a stud,” Compton said. “But we don’t want to be over-reliant on our import.”
Vic Manuel scored 16 points and JV Casio and Chris Banchero had 10 apiece for the Aces.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.