AFTER eliminating San Miguel Beer in their quarterfinal showdown, Alaska Milk has set its sights on a first title playoff in seven conferences.
You can’t blame Alaska coach Alex Compton and the Aces.
Although they finished third overall in the elimination round and with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Aces entered the quarterfinal match as the underdog against the Beermen.
But they proved to be the better team, atleast during their quarterfinal game, to slam th door on the Beermen.
Now, the Aces are looking forward to another exciting challenge when they meet Meralco at the start of their own best-of-five semifinal series in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Compton and the Aces know they can’t take the Bolts for granted anymore. Even if they defeated the Bolts, 89-72, in the elims.
“I have the highest respect for coach Norman (Black), Meralco, Allen Durham and how hard they are playing,” Compton told People’s Tonight.
“I was so impressed watching the play last night (Friday night). I know we have a real battle on our hands this series,” added Compton.
After losing six of their first seven games, the Bolts are now the hottest team in the season-ending conference.
With two-time PBA Best Import awardee Allen Durham, the Norman Black-coached Bolts swept their last four assignments in the elimination round to secure No. 7 seed in the eight-team quarterfinals.
Then they defeated No. 2 seed Phoenix twice to make it back to the semis in the conference where they finished runner-up to Barangay Ginebra in the last two seasons.
“A lot of these turnaround was caused by the all-around game of Allen Durham. He’s scoring, rebounding the ball, and defending,” said Black.
“The problem is we’re playing Alaska in two days. But I’m sure the guys will continue what they’re doing now,” added Black.
But Black also said the the matchup against Phoenix prepared them very well against Alaska.
“Alaska is a different team, with a different set of personnel but similar principles. Maybe because coach Alex and coach Louie (Alas) used to work together.”