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Calm Compton: Second conference, second playoff appearance

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“I’m building on a foundation that is already instilled.”

This is how Alex Compton described his role as the head coach of the well-performing Alaska Aces. For the past two conferences under the helm of Compton, Alaska managed to reach the semifinals, even though Compton was just a late shoe-in for the spot after Luigi Trillo vacated it after last season’s conference. For the former Welcoat import in the PBA, he sees that the pieces placed together by team owner Wilfred Uytengsu are the reason for the team’s resurgence. Before he took over as head coach, the Aces struggled to build on the winning tradition they are now known for in the Tim Cone era. Trillo may have managed to clinch a championship for the squad but early playoff exits despite good elimination records in the succeeding conferences paved the way for Compton’s chance to lead the Aces.

“I don’t think there is anything easy. I’m just surrounded by great people,” said Compton. Though the Aces make it look easy with a winning track record and are a franchise that owns 13 league championships, continually battling well into the post season, Compton still believes otherwise. On the down side, Compton also had the unfortunate privilege of having his team lose by a franchise-worst 51 points last season.

The tag “there’s no I in Alaska” has been very popular and Compton believes in the same philosophy, commending all his players for keeping at it.

“I don’t really have to teach the things that I believe in that they don’t [already] believe,” he adds. “It makes it easier to coach.”

Though being praised by most people for the resurgence of the squad, Compton only had this to say, “Sana pwede ko sabihin na mastermind talaga ko pero hindi eh.” He added that he did not put the team together, only drafting Chris Banchero and Rome Dela Rosa as further additions to the already formidable lineup.

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