After a frustrating finals stint in the last Philippine Cup, Alaska coach Alex Compton is now focusing on reaching another finals appearance with high hopes of winning the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Philippine Cup starting on Sunday.
Alaska was holding a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Finals of the Philippine Cup against San Miguel Beer last year, but the Beermen behind three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo were able to retaliate and win four straight games to cop the Philippine Cup title.
The Aces though are now forgetting the past behind by working hard in the preseason.
“We are hoping to finally get title number 15 for Fred (Uytengsu) and the Alaska franchise this year,” Compton told The Manila Times via text message. “The guys continue to work extremely hard and thought we are a little bit behind in terms of our preseason.”
“Our guys are resilient and will hopefully get into their groove quickly.”
The Aces will rely on an intact line-up of Chris Banchero, Calvin Abueva, Sonny Thoss, Vic Manuel, veteran Tony Dela Cruz, Dondon Hontiveros, Jayvee Casio, Rome Dela Rosa, Kevin Racal, Chris Exciminiano and big man Nonoy Baclao, among others.
Alaska also acquired Gilas rookie forward Carl Bryan Cruz during the recent rookie draft, adding more hardworking players on the team.
The Aces already waived veteran big men Eric Menk and Samigue Eman.
The first game of Alaska will be against Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) on November 25 at the Araneta Coliseum.