Alaska goes down fighting
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Sadly, Alaska Milk will be remembered in PBA history as the first team to lose a best-of-seven title series after taking a 3-0 lead.It all happened last night at the MOA Arena – before 23,616 fans.

The Aces, proud owners of a PBA Grand Slam, took a 96-89 defeat to San Miguel, and handed the Beermen the PBA Philippine Cup.

It should have been theirs.

It was a bitter pill to swallow, a painful loss that will haunt the Aces, from management to the players and to their fans, for a long, long time.

The Aces took a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, and seemed headed to avenging another loss to the Beermen in last year’s finals.

It wasn’t meant to be.

After the final buzzer, the Beermen whooped it up, and their fans chanted, “SMB! SMB!”

The Aces trooped to their dressing room, heads bowed, some covered with towels, a few of them in tears. The picture told it all.

Frustration was written all over.

Alaska coach Alex Comptom tried to console his players, tapping them by their shoulders, one by one, as they entered the dugout.

The STAR caught a glimpse of what it was like inside.

Few words were spoken. But the Aces took it with dignity. Sad as it was, they took the loss with pride.

Compton shook hands with a couple of scribes who stood outside the Alaska dugout, and then, politely, he begged that they be left alone.

“Sorry guys, we need to talk,” he said.

Outside, at centercourt, the Beermen, under colorful balloons, continued to celebrate to the tune of “We are the Champions.”.

Alaska was in the fight early on then started to lose grip of the game, and the title, in the third quarter where it trailed by 21 points.

But they wouldn’t lose it all without a fight.

The Aces staged a mighty comeback, one for the books if they went all the way. With over five minutes left, they were down by only five points.

Then again, the Beermen pulled away.

This time it was for good.

Inside the press room, Compton held back his tears, and reiterated how proud he is with his players.

“I just wish I had done it for them. I really do,” he said.

Some other night he will.

ACES ACIRC ALASKA ALASKA MILK ALEX COMPTOM BEERMEN BUT THE ACES COMPTON GRAND SLAM PHILIPPINE CUP SAN MIGUEL
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