Cariaso believes TerraFirma ‘a lot better’ than its record
MANILA, Philippines — Alaska head coach Jeffrey Cariaso didn’t seem surprised after the Aces barely escaped a winless Terrafirma side on Tuesday.
More than anything, Cariaso appeared relieved his team was able to dodge a bullet.
“We discussed that this team (Terrafirma) is due for a win. We’re hoping that it doesn’t happen against us,” Cariaso said after a 99-96 win.
“We expected them to play as aggressive as they did. They were awesome defensively, setting the tone in the first half.”
Eager to finally break out of their slump, the Dyip played with much desperation and led by as many as 14 points in the first half.
But the Aces regrouped in the second half thanks to their star big man Vic Manuel, who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
The Dyip, who slipped to 0-5, had plenty of chances late but they just couldn’t get anything going in the final two minutes.
After taking a 96-95 lead with 2:37 remaining, Terrafirma went on a dry spell, missing its last seven attempts from the field including a potential game-tying triple from Eric Camson as time expired.
“We came to this game knowing that this is a very good team, a very talented team,” said Cariaso. “Their talent and how good of a team they are, their record doesn’t show it.”
“They’re a lot better than what their record is. So we came into this game respecting them,” he stressed.
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