WITHOUT any players for Gilas Pilipinas, Alaska coach Alex Compton said the Aces will make the most out of the PBA break for the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers to rest the players in preparation for the Governors’ Cup finals against Magnolia.
Compton said the two-week break for Gilas will allow the Aces to heal a few minor injuries before they slug it out against Magnolia beginning on December 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“We don’t have anybody on Gilas so hopefully, we can heal up. We will be cheering for Gilas that’s for sure. Hopefully, we can rest a little bit,” said Compton.
One of those players for the Aces injured is Chris Banchero, who suffered a pulled groin during the semifinal series against Meralco.
In contrast, Magnolia will have two players part of the 20-man Team Pilipinas pool in Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang.
Compton though doesn’t see Lee and Sangalang’s inclusion to Gilas pool as advantageous to the preparations of Alaska.
“Maybe, probably, hopefully. Hopefully, coach Yeng will take at least seven or eight players with Magnolia,” Compton said in jest.
Turning serious, Compton said Magnolia is such a tough team to face that perceived fatigue for the coming Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers against Kazakhstan on November 30 and Iran on December 3 won’t be a factor come the finals.
“We have some banged up guys. Nobody too serious, I think. We will have our hands full either way. My respect to Magnolia and coach Chito (Victolero) the way he is running that team with Romeo (Travis). Obviously, Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, and the rest, they have a bunch of winners. They play the right way,” said Compton.