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Alaska's Banchero braces for a 'more aggressive' TNT in knockout Quarterfinals match

by Niel Victor Masoy, July 22, 2019 5:28pm

Chris Banchero was full of praise for the Alaska Aces after they dealt the top seed and twice-to-beat squad TNT KaTropa a 108-72 beatdown on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum to force their PBA Quarterfinals series to a decider on Wednesday.

The Filipino-Italian guard, however, said the Aces need to come well-prepared against the KaTropa on Wednesday. 

"It was a big game for us but the first thing that coach (Alex Compton) told us is the game is not over. We have a knockout game on Wednesday and they're going to play a lot better than they did tonight," said Banchero, who finished the game with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. 

"They're going to make adjustments so we need to make adjustments as well. They're going to come out a lot more aggressive than they were today. They're no. 1 seed for a season. We need to be prepared for what they got on Wednesday."

While TNT's prolific import Terrence Jones still put up a decent game of 19 points, six rebounds and two assists, the former NBA player committed seven turnovers in the contest which translated into a -25 rating for the Katropa.

Banchero credited the Aces defensive effort for that.

"Our defense tonight was fantastic. I thought Bry (Carl Bryan Cruz) did a great job. I thought Racs (Kevin Racal) did a great job. Everybody who had a job on Terrence Jones did a great job tonight," said Banchero.

"That was the plan - to stay on the gaps and make other players beat us. We did a great job but like I said they going to play a lot better on Wednesday so we need to be prepared."

As impressive as the Aces win was, Banchero knows all too well that the KaTropa are out to bounce back and they should be ready for them.

"I thought we came out aggressive. I thought we played well from start to finish. Everybody had a good job tonight but we can't be too happy. We still got a knockout game on Wednesday to get to the Semifinals. They are a very good team, very well-coached."

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