MANILA, Philippines -- Their huge margin of victory over the Magnolia Hotshots in Game 3 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals meant little to Alaska head coach Alex Compton, as the Aces are still trailing in the best-of-7 series.
After bowing to the Hotshots in the first two games, Alaska earned a breakthrough triumph on Sunday night at the Ynares Center, overwhelming Magnolia, 100-71. Import Mike Harris was unstoppable, tallying 36 points and 18 rebounds in 30 minutes.
However, Alaska still has an uphill battle as they trail the Hotshots, 2-1, in the series.
"If you ask me: Would I rather have won this game by that score, or be up 2-1? I'd gladly be up 2-1 after winning two 1-point overtime games," Compton said after their triumph.
"We're still down," he pointed out.
"Don't get me wrong: I'm glad we won. It's better to win. It's a great coaching strategy," he added. "But we're still down 2-1."
Moreover, Compton is certain that their impressive triumph will only serve to further motivate a Magnolia team that has been playing superb basketball before the lopsided loss.
The Hotshots advanced to the finals after dethroning Barangay Ginebra, and raced out to a 2-0 lead in the championship series in contrasting ways. Their offense carried the day in Game 1 as they won, 100-84, but in Game 2 they held Alaska to six points in the final quarter for a 77-71 triumph.
Compton predicts that Game 4 on Wednesday might play out like Game 2 did.
"You ask me, the team that's been playing the best basketball in the PBA is not Alaska. It's been Magnolia, consistently, throughout the conference," the coach said.
"And while it would be great to hope that this would happen every game, that's like a fairy tale. That's not what's gonna happen," he added.
Instead, Magnolia -- a "great team full of warriors" with a superb coaching staff -- will come back and adjust, Compton said.
"And we're gonna try and come back and bring the same level of intensity and hopefully we can make some shots, and get some stops. But I don't expect for one minute that Game 4 will be anything like this one," he guaranteed.
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