(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Kia absorbs 16th straight defeat- the third-longest losing streak in the PBA
Ugly. That's probably the best adjective you can describe the early goings of the 43rd season of the PBA for the Kia Picanto. For starters, they threw away their future by trading the top pick who happened to be Christian Standhardinger. Then, just two defeats into the new season, Chris Gavina resigned which promoted Ricky Dandan as the new head coach. Unfortunately, that move didn't do the Picanto any good as Kia dropped their first game under a new coach.
Things weren't about to get better any time soon for the Kia Picanto as they sustained one of their worst losses in franchise history as they got blown out anew, this time by the Alaska Aces, 102-65. This, folks, is Kia's 4th straight defeat and 16th consecutive since last season's Commissioner's Cup. This is also Kia's third consecutive blown-out loss and they were defeated by a margin of 35 points per game.
What were the things that doomed Kia anew? Below are those nasty things:
5 Points in the Third Quarter
To begin with, Kia was actually in the game after the first quarter as they held a 21-20 to end the quarter. They also managed to keep the score as close as possible despite being down, 49-34 at the halftime break. But when the third quarter came along, that's when things went further south for Kia as they would have gone scoreless if not to Eric Camson, Rashawn McCarthy and Reden Celda who combined for all of Kia's 5 points in the 3rd quarter. And that's the reason why Alaska won the game.
Alaska's Pressing Defense Worked to Perfection
Alaska has been feared despite their 2-2 record for their suffocating pressing defense and it worked to the max against the Picanto. The Aces only allowed Kia to make 32% of their attempts, 34% from the two-point area and 30% from the three-point territory. They also forced 29 turnovers from Kia which the Aces converted to 32 points on the other end.
Will Kia's streak break Ginebra's losing streak which reached 17 back in the 1995 Commissioner's Cup? They will. Probably. Especially if they continue to play the way they have been playing in their last 3 games.