Improved defense working wonders for Alaska
MANILA, Philippines—When Alaska went on a 0-2 start in the PBA Philippine Cup, head coach Jeffrey Cariaso knew something had to be done.
He didn’t change much, but what he did was go back to the team’s basics and improve upon it.
“Starting and how you begin this conference or every conference for that matter is really crucial. So when things didn’t go our way, again, we went back to just doing the things we know we can do well,” said Cariaso after his team tacked on its third straight win. “And that’s defending and improving that aspect.”
Alaska has since forgotten its bad start and improved to a 3-2 slate after its 89-88 nail-biter against Rain or Shine.
What Cariaso likes is how his team buckles down especially in pressure situations.
“We wanna have that understanding that going into a game, our defensive mindset has to be strong. So I think that’s where we went back to, and so far so good,” said Cariaso.
That mindset came into fruition against the Elasto Painters on Thursday.
Holding on to that one-point lead, the Aces forced Rey Nambatac into a difficult layup attempt that ultimately bounced off the rim as time expired.
What made it more difficult was the Aces should’ve gotten the possession but Jeron Teng and JVee Casio couldn’t complete the inbound pass after the Elasto Painters pestered the routine play.
“I think there’s a lot of lessons you learn when you have a game like tonight and we’re gonna go back to the drawing board a little bit, learn from the mistakes we made and hopefully we don’t make them again moving forward,” said Cariaso.
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