The ‘never-quit’ squad of Alaska coach Alex Compton faces a must-win situation come Wednesday.
The Aces were up by nine early in the fourth quarter and appeared headed for a series-tying victory on Sunday, when the San Miguel Beermen caught fire.
Import Arizona Reid, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter took turns shooting the lights out of the Smart Araneta Coliseum to help the Beermen turn the tide and take a 2-0 Finals series lead in the PBA Governors Cup.
Another victory on Wednesday would push the Aces into the improbable zone since no team in the PBA’s 40-year history has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a championship.
Throughout this season, we’ve seen Compton’s wards charge back from large deficits during game and pull off miracle wins.
Alaska has done that several times during the Philippine Cup Finals against San Miguel and was just seconds away from an All-Filipino crown, until Arwind Santos broke the Aces’ hearts with a dagger three in a gripping Game 7 match.
During the semifinals, the Aces have also done showed their ‘never-quit attitude by bouncing back from big deficits on the way to upending the Star Hotshot s’ two-year reign in the season-ending conference.
But now down 0-2, the Aces are facing a different story.
June Mar Fajardo, now a three-time Best Player, has been a dominant force in the paint, while Reid, all the more motivated after losing the Best Import plum to Alaska counterpart Romeo Travis, has been consistent with his three-point bombs in the playoffs.
Lassiter and Cabagnot have ably supplied the scoring ammunitions whenever needed, giving San Miguel a solid backup.
With one foot practically in the grave, Alaska is in a must-win situation as it tries to resuscitate its sagging title hopes against a determined and hungry San Miguel side.
Game 3 is a test of resolve for Alaska, while for San Miguel, it’s a chance to push its opponent in the cliff.
Will the Aces recover and fight their way back to contention? Or will the Beermen snuff the life out of their rivals?