ALASKA coach Alex Compton doesn’t mind releasing Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel to national duty this week even if it is bound to take its toll on both energetic Aces forwards ahead of the PBA season.
Abeuva, who made an impression in his Gilas Pilipinas debut in the Fiba Asia Championship, is representing the country for the second time in two months as he teams up with Manuel, who has been training daily with the Aces, in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour Final in Abu Dhabi.
“Bugbog sila,” Compton admitted in a chat with Spin.ph on Thursday, referring to the Aces duo, who make up Manila North Philippines along with Troy Rosario and Karl Dehesa. “Pero Pilipinas ang nasa dibdib nila eh. Malaking karangalan yan, so good for them.”
The 3x3 team left for Abu Dhabi last Tuesday.
“It’s the worlds for three-on-three,” Compton continued. “I mean, I’m a five-on-five guy, but it’s still a chance to represent the Philippines in basketball in a different aspect. It’s an honor.”
“They did great to deserve to make it to the worlds,” he added. “I don’t want to take that away from them.”
Compton admitted Abeuva and Manuel won’t take anything that can benefit the Aces as far as 5-on-5 plays are concerned, but at least they stay in shape in the tournament.
“I just know they won’t be getting out of shape for five days.”
Compton said the duo will return on Sunday when the league’s 41st season opens.
“I don’t know if they’ll make the opening or not, if their flight comes back in time,” the American mentor said.
At least, the Aces’ opening assignment won’t be until October 23 (Friday) when they take on Talk ‘N Text at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.