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Back to basics for the Aces

Kevin Ebona
Kevin Ebona of the Alaska Aces soars for a shot against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters during their game on Thursday night. The Aces won their third straight game while dealing the Painters their first loss in four starts in the PBA bubble now into its second week of eliminations. ( PBA Images)

IN many things, it still makes sense to return to the basics in order to, say, correct something.

The Alaska Aces have admitted they have precisely embraced that common view in their search for answer that that would cause change in their alarming campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The move seemed to have worked well for the Aces who have been on a roll with three straight victories after a 0-2 start in the bubble that’s beginning to look a little bit interesting.

The so-called ‘basic’ which the Aces have adopted lately is, in the words of Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso, ‘defensive mind-set that must be strong.’

‘When we lost to Meralco we went back to basics,” said Cariaso, as he explained the key to the Aces’s resurgence in the kickoff conference.

“We talked about our defense. We talked about how to improve on it,” added Cariaso. “We want to have that understanding that going to every game our defensive mind-set must be strong…. The emphasis was really on our defense.”

In short, the Aces have been giving enough premium on their defense and that they are hoping to continue that as they take on defending champion San Miguel Beer at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City.

The Aces are looking for their fourth straight win in the 6:45 p.m. main offering, win that will enable them to stay at the top four in the company of 5-0 Talk N Text Tropang Giga, 4-0 Barangay Ginebra and 3-1 Rain or Shine.

Makati City Pabakuna

It is also worth-mentioning that the Aces have been playing without Kevin Racal since the big man suffered a torn ACL right on their first outing in the bubble which they lost, 100-95, to Talk N Text Tropang Giga.

Whether the Aces could keep their momentum is another thing, more so since they are up against the Beermen who are likewise poised to make their more this early before it is too late in the cutthroat elimination round.

Cariaso though is fully aware of the daunting task.

“Tomorrow’s game will be a different challenge on its own. First, SMB will showcase their experience and heart despite being without (Terrence) Romeo and JMF. They still have lots of talent there and we expect them to be at their best,” added Cariaso.

The win that is hard to come by for Terrafirma Dyip and NorthPort will finally be achieved by one of them after their 4 p.m. tussle.

The Dyip are winless in three games while the Batang Pier are winless in four outings going into their crucial tussle on the final day of Week Two in the bubble.

At 0-3, the Dyip still have plenty of chances but may have to start winning now to avoid getting in a sticky situation.