Alaska guard Chris Banchero sported a blonde hairdo in their game against the NLEX Road Warriors. A game which served as the main event on opening day of the 2017 Governors’ Cup.
The 28-year old Fil-Italian had hoped that a change in hair color would somehow rub off on his team which, prior to the game, is on an eight-game slide dating back to last conference. The Aces last won a ballgame on April 2. It was the during the elimination round, against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the last of a four-game winning run to open the Comm’s Cup. Things turned downhill from there and the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup champions lost their next eight games. The last was a knockout game against GlobalPort for the 8th seed.
Banchero and the Aces were hoping for a fresh start this conference. A win on opening day would’ve somehow eased the pain of the franchise’ worst tailspin in history. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. The team absorbed their 9th straight loss and further compounded their misery.
The veteran guard blamed the team’s porous defense as the culprit. “We’re just not playing defense,” Banchero said. “We’re giving up too many easy baskets. They’re just shooting layups and layups and layups all game, so obviously we need to fix that.”
“We’re not the team we used to be, and we need to change that,” he added.
The Aces allowed the Road Warriors to score 112 points, 60 of those inside the paint. Overall, the Road Warriors converted 47% of their shots (44/93).
For Banchero, a change in the team’s defensive mind set is the key to turning their fortunes around. “We’re just not taking pride in defense that we did two years ago when we were the best defensive team in the league. People were having trouble against us every night. And now, it’s a walk in the park, coming down the lane all night, so we need to take some pride and change that – tomorrow.” – Alvin Borromeo