ALASKA coach Alex Compton is keeping his fingers crossed the Aces will be able to nab a serviceable big man in the PBA Rookie Draft on Sunday.
Compton emphasized the need to pick someone who can hold his own against the likes of San Miguel Beermen star and reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and Ginebra giant Greg Slaughter.
"The biggest position in need is someone to match up with June Mar and Greg," Compton said in an interview during the Draft Combine on Tuesday. "It's really a challenge, like you look at Ginebra in the Finals, look at their length."
Among the 44 hopefuls, Christian Standhardinger best fits the description. The 28-year-old cager showed he can compete against elite big men after stints with Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Asia Cup and Southeast Asian Games.
But with the 6-foot-7 Fil-German expected to emerge as the top pick by the Beermen in the weekend spectacle at the Robinsons Place Manila, the Aces could have the chance to choose from either Raymar Jose or Jason Perkins for the no.5 pick.
Alaska, though, would have to hope Blackwater and Phoenix decide to go small at the 3rd and fourth picks, respectively.
"Most places where basketball is played, pinakamahirap hanapin isang big man na dominante, di ba? I heard there's a pretty good one in the PBA who has won four straight MVPs," he said.
"Those guys don't grow on trees, it would be nice if I could go to that tree and pick a June Mar but that's not what happens. I think there's some good talent in the draft, hintayin namin."
The American mentor can only hope teams will decide to pass up on Standhardinger.
"If he drops to five, I'm hoping. If people are gonna pass up on him and he drops to five, yes, we will be open to taking him," he said with a chuckle.