A roller coaster ride.
The Alaska Aces ended their 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign last night, March 29. Even though the team lost, Alaska head coach Alex Compton could not be prouder of his squad. Off from a great championship series against San Miguel Beermen, Alaska suffered bumps this Commissioner’s Cup as they had to face injuries and fatigue.
As for Compton, he commended his players for coming out to play this conference despite being pushed to their limit in the Philippine Cup. He also cited on how San Miguel struggled during this conference, which led to their early exit before playoffs.
Trying to reach the top
“Even though we lost this game, I was proud of the heart that we showed,” said Compton, who spoke of how his players pushed hard in the dying minutes of the series clinger against Purefoods. Alaska was down by seven points with less than 30 seconds remaining, but every Ace on the floor fought hard hoping for miracles – this captured their Head Coach’s heart.
Alaska may have been out if they bowed down to Ginebra in their last elimination round game. Had they won the game with less than a six-point lead, they would have had a daunting task of facing the top-seeded Elasto Painters with a twice-to-beat disadvantage. Compton made it clear that winning by six and playing against a “dangerous” Purefoods squad is better than having a twice-to-beat disadvantage.
Excellence above anything else
“I think the thing I always want to see is character with pursuit of excellence, and I felt our guys showed their character,” quipped Compton as he saw his team perform well during their final game of the conference.
Ironic as it may be, Compton expressed how happy he was despite their loss. He was proud of the way his team performed accordingly, and how they showed their energy on the floor.
“We do very different things that other teams don’t do, which requires a lot [from the import],” said Compton, citing this as one of the causes of their struggles in this conference.
He recalled how DJ Covington showed a lot of energy to begin their Commissioner’s Cup campaign, but thought that he just didn’t fit into the system. Also, he said that having James earlier may have put them in a better situation.
Here’s a better view of how they really struggled in import matchups; Alaska was unlucky to face Purefoods who had Denzel Bowles in their roster. Bowles outscored Damion James, 32 to 21 in Game 2 of the quarterfinals.
In spite of all the ifs and buts, Compton just hopes he could learn how to let an import fit in quickly, just like how other coaches manage to do so.
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