It is what it is.
That’s what head coach Jeffrey Cariaso offered as his Alaska will have to play three games in as many nights to make up for lost time after being out for two weeks in the PBA Philippine Cup due to health and safety protocols.
“It’s the situation. It’s the schedule that’s given to us because of the situation,” he said. “We have to be ready for that, despite it being consecutive games.
“It doesn’t matter to us that we’re the only ones — maybe — this conference.”
The Aces are the only team to be in such a situation.
Alaska, who last saw action back on September 2 against NLEX, began its grueling schedule Friday against reigning champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. And it returned in a big way through an 89-75 victory.
But then, there’s little time to celebrate for the returning crew. They will still face the top-seeded TNT Tropang Giga tomorrow at 4:35 p.m., before capping off their busy stretch with a meeting versus Terrafirma on Sunday.
No PBA team has ever played in such a taxing set-up — even Cariaso could not recall any instance in the past that he and his team had played back-to-back-to-back assignments, even during his time as a player.
“I don’t think I have,” said the 49-year-old, who played in the PBA from 1995-2010.
“I was trying to recall that same question. Even as a player, I don’t think I had the benefit of playing three straight games. In the Finals, normally it’s back-to-back so it’s every other day, so we’re used to that,” he added.
Still, the Aces aren’t backing down, Cariaso vowed.
“This setup, again, it’s what it is,” said the chief mentor, who’s now in his third season calling the shots for the Milkmen. “We have no excuses. We’re going to go into this as ready as we can, and we’re going to play as hard as we can. We’re gonna do our best.
“We’re gonna handle this adversity in a way we’re where we think is best by, again, just sticking together, and playing our brand of basketball.”