Facing Star needs ‘absolute best’ from Alaska, says Compton

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@RLeongsonINQ

07:44 PM January 10th, 2017

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By: Randolph B. Leongson, January 10th, 2017 07:44 PM

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The three-week break may have been a welcome respite, but coach Alex Compton is hoping it wouldn’t ruin his team’s momentum from the tailend of 2016.

“The feeling is like the preseason again, but it’s not,” he said on Tuesday afternoon after the team’s practice at Gatorade Hoops Center in Shaw. “I hope we’re sharp because there’s only five games left.”

The Aces last played on December 23, losing to TNT, 109-100.

Though sitting at the middle of the pack at 3-3, Compton sees no reason for Alaska to feel discouraged, especially after how the Aces fought in their last two games against Ginebra and TNT.

“Our defensive intensity was good against Ginebra. It was actually pretty good against TNT because our guys were battling. TNT just shot the lights out so I don’t feel like we lost it. I felt we got outplayed and outshot by TNT, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort,” he said.

That’s the same effort Compton against Star on Wednesday.

“I don’t know if you’ve looked at the stats, but (Star) has been the best offensive team in the league right now. They have so many weapons. They’re shooting the ball so well,” he said.

The Hotshots lead the league in field goal percentage (46.4-percent), three-points (38.9-percent), third in
free throw shooting (72.5-percent), and are fourth in scoring (95.3 points) so far this 2017 PBA Philippine Cup, enough to keep the American mentor on his toes going into this crucial tiff at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“You have to worry about guys driving to the basket. You have to worry about Aldrech (Ramos), Paul (Lee), and guys shooting the three like Allein (Maliksi) and PJ (Simon). You got to worry about Jio (Jalalon), Mark (Barroca) and Paul off the ball screen creating for other guys. You got to worry about (Marc) Pingris and Ian (Sangalang) posting up,” he said. “I don’t really see an offensive weakness on their side, so that really requires the absolute best – and you can’t stop it all at once, so you got to have to prioritize and pick, and hope that you can make some rotations as some guys getting some shots.”

All Compton is wants the Aces to sustain their hot streak, with Sonny Thoss set to make his season debut in the tiff.

“I hope and I think our effort will still be there,” he said. “We’ll just have to continue with sort of what we’ve been doing: a little bit of small ball and a whole lot of energy, and a few prayers in there won’t hurt either.”

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