ALASKA’s second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup was bitter-sweet for coach Alex Compton.
The Aces blew away KIA Picanto on Sunday in 102-65 beating that Compton and the Aces had to deal to his first-ever coach in the country – Ricky Dandan.
Compton played under Dandan in his first foray into Philippine basketball as one of the stars of the Manila Metrostars in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).
The two developed a deep bond since then that they became good friends through the years and, later, worked together as deputies for Bo Perasol with the Powerade Tigers.
And so it pained Compton seeing his former mentor dealt a 37-point beating by his Aces.
But it’s a job he has to do and it’s nothing personal.
“It’s tough. The guy is working hard. He just took over early in the season, so he’s trying to put the system in,” said the Alaska coach. “I know he’s got a great basketball mind. He just stepped in to a really difficult situation.”
Dandan took over the KIA coaching job following the resignation of Chris Gavina just two games into the all-Filipino conference.
Unfortunately, the coaching change has yet to bear fruit for the Picanto, who have lost their first two games under Dandan to fall deeper in the cellar with an 0-4 card.
Dandan has lost his first two outings with the franchise by an average margin of 42 points.
At the moment, all Compton could do is to sympathize with his bosom buddy, especially having to be on top of what he still considers an expansion franchise.
“It feels like we’re on a little bit of an upswing, while they’re still figuring things out. Obviously, KIA is an expansion team, and it’s tough to be an expansion team. He’s got a tough job,” added the Alaska coach.
“I don’t think any of us coaches ever feel really good about blowouts.”