ALASKA coach Alex Compton was at a bit of a loss to explain the strange feeling of being somehow pleased despite a heartbreaking defeat.
“It's weird, because I hate losing. I'm a competitor,” said Compton.
The Aces bowed to the Painters, 94-97, on Saturday in the decider of the best-of-five Governors’ Cup semifinal series in Compton’s first conference as a head coach.
But he was smiling during the post-game conference, explaining that while he felt pain due to the defeat, he was happy with his wards’ performance.
“Rain or Shine was better,” he admitted.
“At the same time kahit talo kami 'yung huling dalawang laro tuwang-tuwa ako sa mga bata eh. Grabe ang puso nila. I mean if anybody is associated with those players they will feel anything but pride," he added.
"I mean it'd be different if we're playing an elementary women's team and we got beat. This is Rain or Shine they're really good, he's coach Yeng (Guiao), he's a legendary coach, those guys play with such heart, pina-iyak nga nila ako kanina eh.”
Playing without ace point guard Jayvee Casio, center Sonny Thoss and forward Gabby Espinas due to injuries, Alaska managed to keep the game close the entire contest and for that Compton couldn't be any prouder.
“I know a lot of team that you lose your starting point guard, your starting center, your best scoring power forward, and they would go, ‘ah dehado na kayo, wala kayong pag-asa, wag na, hindi para sa atin.’ There was not one single hint of that in this game and it made me so proud to be their coach,” he said.
The amiable coach believes the Aces have nothing to be ashamed of.
"None of us ever want to lose. We put our livelihoods, we put our hearts on the line, I stayed up all night watching the film, these guys beat their bodies every day to try to get better. And they have
nothing to be ashamed of, they played so hard, they didn't give up till the end,” said Compton.