Import Mike Harris said Game 1 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals proved that Alaska will need to start fast against Magnolia if the Aces want to beat the Hotshots.
The Aces got outhustled by the Hotshots early in the game, falling behind 15-0 before eventually absorbing an 100-84 loss in Game 1.
"It's a learning experience for us and it helps," Harris said in the PBA website. "A lot of these guys haven't been in the Finals. Good thing it's first to four, not first to one."
Among the pressing issues Alaska will have to take care of is their sputtering offense.
The Aces missed 21 of 28 three-point attempts, sank only 19 of 32 free throws and turned the ball over 25 times.
"We missed a lot of outside shots and we missed a lot of free throws," said Harris. "And the last series (against Meralco) we didn't miss a lot of free throws. Had we made a few more free throws, who knows it could have been a different game."
The important thing is, Harris said, they still have an opportunity to bounce back.
"We came out lackadaisical and they punched us in the mouth. Good thing it's not a one-game series. They punched us, but the best thing about getting punched is if that you're strong enough, you'll get up," he said.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)