In a finals series featuring two evenly-matched teams in Alaska and Magnolia, Aces head coach Alex Compton felt “effort” made the big difference in Game 1 on Wednesday night.
Unfortunately for Compton, it was the Hotshots who wanted to win more.
“I thought we just got totally outworked,” a disappointed Compton told reporters after the Aces lost, 100-84.
“Something I feel that’s been the trademark, the hallmark of our team has been effort. I just said in the locker room, I felt like we gave an 85 percent effort and Magnolia gave 100 percent effort and the score was a hundred to 84, I was about right.”
Games are won in the end but the story of Game 1 came in the opening minutes when the Hotshots raced to a 15-0 lead.
The Aces didn’t score until the 5:42 mark on two free throws by Kevin Racal and made their first field goal with 5:16 left in the first quarter.
“Obviously, the horrible start didn’t help. I just can’t figure out how our energy can be that way. We tried to come back and fight but you dig yourself a hole and just a lot of fundamental breakdowns on our part,” Compton said.
“We got to be so much better. I thought Romeo Travis and Jio Jalalon were awesome tonight. They killed us. Romeo dominated us and Jio dominated us,” added Compton, who also commended Mark Barroca’s play especially in the fourth quarter when Alaska made its run.
Romeo Travis had 29 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, Jio Jalalon scattered seven points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and four steals while Barroca added 16 points and five steals.
“I thought their guards just took it at us. They handled us,” he said.
Compton said the Aces looked “very rusty” but it was still not an excuse for how they played.
“Some people told me, ‘you guys are just rusty’ but what about them (Magnolia)? They had a good game. I expect us to play at their level and for it to be a tight game. We don’t have any excuses,” he said.
“We missed a ton of free throws and we missed a ton of threes and we turned the ball over,” he added. “The point is that it happens sometimes, but it can’t be that the other seems to be quicker to the ball, they get a few more extra rebounds. It’s just really frustrating.”
Aces try to even the best-of-seven series on Friday night at Araneta Coliseum.
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Article source: https://sports.inquirer.net/330264/alaska-shows-lack-of-effort-in-pba-governors-cup-finals-game-1-oss-to-magnolia-says-compton