GLOBALPORT has changed imports, and Alaska coach Alex Compton has a fairly good idea on how good the new guy of the Batang Pier is.
Does that mean Alaska is set to follow suit?
DJ Covington has yet to impress in two games with the Aces, but Compton has shown no indication that a change of imports is in the horizon for the Uytengsu franchise in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Despite Covington's pedestrian averages of 21.5 points and six rebounds in two foul-troubled performances, Compton has also made it clear he trusts the import has what it takes to help the Aces contend for another championship after a runner-up finish in the Philippine Cup.
“DJ is getting better. We know he only had a few practices with the team but he’s trying to figure out how to jell with the team and just be able to get used to our rotation and scheme of things,” Compton said.
Compton, however, knows Covington is bound to be tested by Calvin Warner, who makes his PBA debut on Tuesday against the Aces after coming in to replace CJ Leslie.
Unlike Covington, whose only overseas stint was with the Basic-Fit Brussels in Belgium in May last year, Warner, who is a shade below 6-5, has played in Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Korean Basketball League with the LG Sakers where he averaged 16.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per contest during the 2008 season.
Compton said he has personally seen Warner play in a tune-up game several years back when he was still serving as one of Welcoat’s (now Rain or Shine) assistant coaches.
“He’s (Warner) an explosive athlete. I remember when I was still at Welcoat, he killed us in a tune-up game,” recalled Compton. “He’s physically strong and tough, a guy who can jump out of the gym.”
The Alaska coach said outside Warner, his biggest concern is on how to stop Globalport’s explosive backcourt anchored by Terrence Romeo, top rookie pick Stanley Pringle, and veteran playmaker Dennis Miranda.
“Terrence is playing awesome,” noted the 40-year-old Compton. “I’ve been watching him play and nakakatakot because I think he makes more tough shots than anybody else in the league.”
The 5-foot-10 Romeo is off to a sizzling start for the Batang Pier this conference after averaging 22.3 points on a scorching 58.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Pringle is averaging 12.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists, while Miranda, acquired in a trade with Barako Bull for Sol Mercado during the conference break, averages 7.0 points a game.