Alaska looks to win three straight to stay in playoff race

September 09, 2017

THE door remains wide open for Alaska in its bid to make it through to the quarterfinals.

The same cannot be said of Kia, so what the Picanto could do is dampen the Aces' chances when they clash Sunday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

A win by Alaska would further boost its hopes of finishing among the top eight teams advancing to the next round, a possibility that presented itself when coach Alex Compton's charges won back-to-back games following a 0-6 start.

In fact, should the Aces complete a sweep in their last three games starting with Kia, then they would at least play off for the eighth and last spot -- if not make it outright.

It is a situation Kia would have liked. But with eight losses in as many games the most it could hope for is three wins, which would not be enough since eighth-running Blackwater already has four wins.

So what the Picanto could do now is act out the role of spoiler against a team it has beaten only three times in their eight previous meetings and not yet this season.

Still, Compton is not one to take Kia lightly, more so now that the Picanto have had ample time to adjust with new import Geron Johnson who had a 28-point, six-assist debut in a 97-118 loss to Blackwater two Fridays ago.

"Kia has had a week to prepare and Geron Johnson had a week to really adjust to his new team's system," said Compton, a day after his own crew won over GlobalPort 101-88 only last Friday.

"It feels like we are almost coming into this game blind in a sense because of the variety of new things they have had time to put in and the time their import has had to adjust," added Compton.

"We will have to be great defensively and adjust to the game as it develops. This is another must win for us."

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In order to realize their immediate goal Compton's wards would have to give LaDontae Henton, averaging 30.8 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists, ample support and that is where the likes of Calvin Abueva, Jayvee Casio and Sonny Thoss come in.

For Kia, equally crucial should be the roles LA Revilla, Reden Celda, Glenn Khobuntin and Eric Camson play.