ONE does not need to remind Mike Harris of how important Game 6 will be for Alaska. He's already playing with a heightened sense of urgency the moment he arrived in the Aces camp.
It's certainly not with the way the Aces played on Friday, falling behind early, 51-34 in the first half before scrapping their way back in the game late.
"We treat every game like a do-or-die situation," he said on the heels of Alaska's 79-78 Game 5 defeat to Magnolia in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals on Friday.
One more loss like this and the Aces are kissing their dreams of ending a five-year title drought goodbye, leaving the franchise pining for a championship they last felt back in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup.
Harris doesn't want any of that to happen.
Alaska, though, must find a way to deliver a counter-punch on Wednesday if it wants to force a Game 7 at Philippine Arena.
That was until Paul Lee delivered the game-winner with 1.3 seconds that set them up in this precarious position.
"They came out and hit us in the first half, and then we hit them in the second half. So you know, we can't come out that relaxed. We gotta be more aggressive on Paul Lee, because he came out and got assertive early. We can't do that," said Harris, who went on another 20-20 game with his 20 points and 28 rebounds.
The 35-year-old reinforcement, however, isn't losing faith on Alaska anytime soon, knowing that despite slight hiccups, his team has it in itself to pull off another victory and win the championship.
"I ride with my guys until the end. It's still a one-game series for us, just like it is for them," he said. "For us, we gotta grow on that final minute stretch right there. Both teams were fighting and scrapping, and we made a couple of mistakes. But we gotta learn from that."
"We're not looking forward to Game 7. Game 6 is do-or-die for both teams and I'm pretty sure they don't wanna go to Game 7. But for us, we wanna go to Game 7." (RD)