By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY--From a team which was on track of nabbing a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals, Alaska found itself now having to settle for a twice-to-beat disadvantage or worse, face early elimination.
So what went wrong with the Aces in the past games?
"I haven't seen Alaska basketball much this conference," said Coach Alex Compton on Wednesday night.
In their recent outing against the Star Hotshots, he believed he finally saw it again.
"That was Alaska basketball," Compton evaluated his team's performance.
Ironically, however, it came from a tough defeat, their seventh straight since going 4-0 at the start of the conference.
"We lost to an excellent, well-coached team that deserves the win," Compton commented on their loss to the Hotshots, who may have just placed one foot to the quarterfinal bonus.
Alaska was actually on track of pulling the upset, leading by as much as 21 points in the third quarter and even had a 98-97 lead with under a minute remaining in overtime.
But a clutch triple from Justin Melton that turned out to be the game-winner broke the Aces' hearts.
Still, Compton is glad that the team he knew is back.
"It might be too late this conference, but I got my team back, and that's all I wanted to see," he continued.
Alaska's fate now depends on Friday's doubleheader. Either the team will finish seventh with an outright quarterfinal ticket or fall to a playoff for eighth between either Phoenix or GlobalPort, which will play San Miguel in the Friday curtain-raiser.
Either way, however, the Aces will be involved in a do-or-die game, and Compton hopes he will see the team he saw against the Hotshots again in that match.
"If that team shows up, miracles can happen. If the team that played most of the conference shows up, then it's probably 'See you guys next conference,'" he further said.
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