WHEN Alaska sets out today, coach Alex Compton wants a defensive mindset for his Aces.
In fact, he wants his Aces to be at their finest in defense.
That only shows how big is Compton’s respect for Columbian Dyip team which he describes as dangerous despite being winless in eight outings in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
And Compton’s caution grew all the more obvious, especially since the Aces are coming off an 83-73 loss to Magnolia last Oct. 14.
“After a loss against a really tough Magnolia team, we need to bounce back and play well against a dangerous Columbian,” Compton told People’s Journal yesterday.
Compton also took exception to cite the fact that the Dyip had good account of themselves in their past games in the elimination, things that he said should not be taken for granted.
Compton said the Dyip engaged their opponents in close games, and that they were leading in so many of their games.
“They (the Dyip) have really been a dangerous pick and roll team,” stressed Compton.
The Aces meet the Dyip in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle of a double-header that will also see Rain or Shine and NorthPort collide in the main offering at 7 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome.
“Defensively we need to be at our finest and I am looking for that defensive mindset from our players,” added Compton.
Despite their loss to the Hotshots last Oct. 14, the Aces have remained well within reach of their targeted Top Four where teams have the luxury of having to win only once in the quarterfinal round to advance right away to the semifinal round.
The Aces are running fourth at 5-2 behind league-leader Hotshots (7-1), Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (7-2) and Blackwater Elite (6-2) but are barely ahead of a vastly-improved Phoenix Fuel Masters (6-3).
After the Dyip, the Aces have three more games left to play, including against Blackwater on Oct. 21, NLEX on Oct. 26 and NorthPort on Oct. 28. All these teams are still in contention, with the Elite looking to gain passage into the magic four.
“We like to be married into those top four spots,” said Compton after the Aces were beaten by the Hotshots. “Ultimately, if you want to win a championship you have to go through teams that are playing as well as Magnolia.”
“We’ve lost to Ginebra and Magnolia now. But you hope at this point you’d get the lesson like ‘Look at what they’re doing and how well are they playing,’” he said.