Alaska seeks to solidify lead in Game 4

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THE Alaska Aces seeks for a commanding 3-1 lead over the San Miguel Beermen in Game Four of the best-of-seven titular series of the 40th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at 7 p.m. today at the Araneta Coliseum.

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Coach Alex Compton’s Aces are now enjoying a 2-1 edge in the long series.

Alaska gained the upper hand following their 78-70 win in Game Three on Sunday. They also won the opening game via overtime, 88-82, on Wednesday but lost Game Two 86-100 on Friday.

But the Aces, who are set to use the same defense, are expecting a big comeback from the Beermen.

“Like what coach Alex Compton said, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a 2-1edge. We’ve got to take it one game at a time. And for us to take advantage of this, we’ve got to play the next game with the same defensive mindset,” said veteran Sonny Thoss.

Coach Leo Austria of the Beermen, however, is expected to make several adjustments especially on defense that saw them crumbling down after leading by more than 20 points in the first and third game.

“I would like to let you know, that loss was my full responsibility. I wasn’t able to control the game. This is my responsibility; we lost because of lot of turnovers and because of the great defense of Alaska. They [Aces] have a lot of talented players; they have veterans who know what the situation was. We panicked. This is a long series and we’re capable of winning, the potential is there, it’s up to us,” said Austria, who is also in his finals stint in the PBA.

The Aces hurdled a 22-point deficit to win Game One. Alaska was struggling, 40-61, late in the third quarter but still managed to pull off another stunning victory in Game Two, proving that they were better experienced than the Beermen, who won a crown for the last time in the 2011 Governor’s Cup. Frank Calapre

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