ALASKA coach Alex Compton embraced the hate from the people who are blaming him for the team’s alarming run of underachievement in the PBA for three months now, but is eager to prove them wrong and lead the Aces back on the winning track in the Governors’ Cup.
With the Aces mired in the middle of their longest losing streak in franchise history that has seen them drop their last 11 games, fans have been looking for someone to blame and, based on social media feeds, a lot of them are pointing their fingers at Compton.
And the American mentor, whose team hasn’t won since an April 2 victory against Rain or Shine in the Commissioner’s Cup, understands where the fans are coming from.
“That’s my job. That’s natural. Who doesn’t blame the coach?” Compton said in a chat with SPIN.ph. “Everybody blames the coach, and if you can’t accept that, then you shouldn’t be coaching.”
“I don’t like it (comments), but I appreciate their passion,” he added. “I’m grateful that we have passionate fans. That’s how I choose to accept it. To me, it’s personal if they know me personally and accuse me of something. If someone doesn’t know me personally, I can’t really accept their accusations. I can appreciate their passion.”
Compton, though, is keen on steering the Aces back to relevance.
“I hope that we can provide a brand of basketball that leads to wins and excitement for the fans,” he said. “God bless them. I don’t even like the word ‘haters.’ I don’t believe in that. I believe they’re fans and they should voice their opinions.”
“Hopefully, one day we’ll make the Alaska fans happy and be able to give them a championship,” he added. “And if that doesn’t come, at least I’ll always know that I put forth a whole lot of work to try to make it happen.”
Asked if there is added pressure from management for him to deliver, Compton said the bar that team owner Fred Uytengsu has set has always been high for a team that owns the second-most championships in the league with 14 titles.
“In terms of specifically extra phone calls (from management), no, but the standards have always been extra high for Alaska,” Compton said. “Fred has set high standards being a part of – it’s not the only reason, but it’s an aspect of what has led to the franchise’s long-term success, and those are only fair and right.”
“I think the greater pressure is the one that I put on myself to help our team perform,” he added. “I don’t really believe that you can listen to the millions of voices individually watching the games, because wala kang oras. You just work, do your job, put your head down, do everything you can, and keep going. And that’s just kind of what I believe in.”
Compton is hoping the elusive win come on Friday in their matchup against TNT KaTropa at 4:15 p.m., so he can head straight to the press room for the customary post-game conference of the winning coach.
“I miss sitting down in front of you guys with that little microphone in front of me,” Compton said. “It’s been a long time, so I might start singing Reunited by Peaches and Herb when I walk in.”
“Hope to see you…about 6:30 on Friday. That’s the plan,” he concluded.