The Alaska Aces still remember the sting of losing to San Miguel twice in the Finals – first in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup, then in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
A year ago, Alaska was minutes shy from winning their first Philippine Cup title in 15 years, only to be thwarted by San Miguel in a classic Game 7 finish. Last July 2015, San Miguel finished the season with a four-game sweep of Alaska.
Learning the lessons of both finals losses to San Miguel, Alaska has the chance to get back on their tormentor after a gruelling ordeal in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
“To win in the finals and playing at a high level are two different things. I thought we played at a high level, but we lost fair and square in [the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Finals] Game 7 by two points. San Miguel deserved it,” said Compton.
“I hope we win four games instead of three. I hope that’s the difference…For me, it’s all about our character and how we’re playing and the effort we put on the floor. I hope we keep on getting better on our mistakes. I hope we win four games,” he added.
On the other hand, team owner Wilfred Uytengsu said that the team had to learn a lesson in playing all 48 minutes of the game the hard way, and believes that Alaska can end their long Philippine Cup title drought.
“Last year’s championship was such a painful loss because we were there, we clawed ourselves back from a double-digit deficit in the second half, then we led with less than a minute and we let it slip through our fingers,” said Uytengsu.
“So the reminder there is for us to play 48 minutes of hard basketball, and we’ll have to do it each and every game and hope we come out with four wins this time,” he added.
“The All-Filipino [Cup] is the most special championship a PBA team could win. We would like nothing more than to win this year’s championship.”