No room for error as Alaska tries to stave off elimination

September 14, 2017

ALASKA may be on a three-game winning streak, but coach Alex Compton knows his team needs to stretch it to the max for it to hit its immediate target.

The Aces' determination would be severely tested whey they take on the Meralco Bolts, who have their own objective Friday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

A win by Alaska would add more fuel to its drive of gaining inclusion among the top eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals, an objective that would become more realizable should the Aces prevail over Rain or Shine on Wednesday.

Compton knows it won't be easy going against Meralco, which has a far loftier goal of making it among the top four, which will be rewarded with a twice-to-beat advantage each in the next round.

The Bolts would scale that plateau should they win their remaining assignments against GlobalPort on Friday and San Miguel Beer at eliminations end on Sept. 24.

It is on the task at hand that Compton and Meralco counterpart Norman Black are concerned with.

"This is a tough situation for us," stated Compton. "We have what is a must-win against one of the very best teams in our league."

"Alaska is on a roll so we must be well prepared," said Black before adding the basic strategies his team must execute to the fullest in order to negate or at least match the likes of LaDontae Henton, Calvin Abueva and Jayvee Casio.

"Our ability to handle their full court pressure will be one of the keys for us," noted Black. "Keeping them off the offensive glass will also be important. Once again we will rely on our defense to try and get the win."

Compton knows containing Allen Durham, coming off a 29-point, 27-rebound, seven assist performance in a 96-90 win over Star last Saturday and averaging 27.9 points, 20 boards and 6.75 dimes per game, should be the biggest key.

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But disrupting Meralco's plays while stifling the likes of Baser Amer, new acquisition Ranidel de Ocampo and Chris Newsome are also a must for Alaska.

"Meralco has a dominant import in Durham and coach Norman has really got them playing disciplined basketball," said Compton.

"I don't think there's any question that this matchup will require our best game of the conference."