A TEAM that's essentially a work in progress, the Alaska Milk Aces don't mind suffering a bump here and there.
To them, the more important thing is how to respond from those bumps.
Their three-game streak snapped the last time out, the Aces seek to bounce back and build momentum again as they tackle the Terrafirma Dyip in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble play at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena Tuesday.
Coach Jeff Cariaso and his troops are not to take Terrafirma for granted even as the Dyip are winless in four outings.
Much more that the Aces believe the Dyip are a dangerous side in their 4 p.m. tussle.
The Aces are barely inside the Top Eight with an even 3-3 win-loss slate, dropping from fourth place after an 88-92 loss to the San Miguel Beermen last Saturday.
It was a tough loss after a three-game run they uncorked in hitting their stride versus Magnolia, Blackwater and Rain or Shine.
Before that, they yielded their first two outings opposite TNT Tropang Giga and Meralco.
"I feel we grew up a little bit each and every game as we progressed. Our defense improved a little bit more as we progressed. That's really all you can ask for in this kind of situation, in this kind of conference in the bubble," said Cariaso.
And there's the growth of individual personalities in the team. Not to be overlooked is Barkley Ebona.
The rookie out of Far Eastern U had his breakout game with a career-best 24 markers in their 120-82 rout of Blackwater on Oct. 20.
He has since been on a roll, sharing top scoring honors with Vic Manuel (18 markers) in their loss to the Beermen.
"We're happy with the growth of Barkley. He's still learning and improving," said Cariaso. (SB)