"I WISH him the best."
Those were the words of Alex Compton for fellow American Kirk Long, who is knocking on the doors of the PBA nine years after Compton's own bid to play in the pro league was turned down.
Long is part of PBA D-League team NLEX, which has applied for a PBA franchise and is hoping to bring up its American mainstay as part of the concessions it hopes to get from the pro league.
Like Compton, the former Ateneo star was born in the Philippines to American parents who are missionaries and have long made the country their home. The two familiies are also close.
"Kaibigan ko si Kirk saka 'yung pamilya nila, close kami, so ang dami naman nila ginagawang maganda para sa bansa, sa mga tao dito," Compton told Spin.ph.
But in the end, the decision, Compton said, rests in the league.
"Syempre in the end magde-decide 'yung (PBA) board," he said. "But of course the PBA will decide, para sa PBA, hindi lang para kay Kirk. You have to trust the board and its wisdom."
Compton had an outstanding career in the MBA and the PBL and played for Welcoat in the PBA back in 2006 and 2007 as an import after his bid to be considered a local player was turned down by the board.
The amiable Compton said he understood that the board was only looking after "the best interest of the league."
"Kasi nag-apply din ako dati but nag-no sila," he said. "Ako, noong nangyari sa akin 'yun naintindihan ko naman eh, may dahilan sila, they really want to protect the league.
"I'm sure there are ways that they will discuss to protect the league, the PBA will always look out for what's rightfully so, what's in the best interest of the league."
Compton, who is now in the PBA as an assistant coach of Alaska Milk, also said he hopes basketball fans will try to understand Long's desire to play in the PBA.
"Ang sana 'yung mga fans, whether negative or positive 'yung tingin nila sa application ni Kirk, maintindihan nila 'yung bata mabait na tao 'yun. Ano lang, gustong mag-try ba," he said.
"Kung lahat tayo may pangarap, kung siya pangarap maglaro sa PBA of course he's gonna go for it, there's nothing wrong with that, so there's nothing wrong with the application.
"I wish Kirk the best, if he gets in I will celebrate with him, if he doesn't life isn't based on basketball, he's got a higher calling. Either way he's going to be living his life in a way that he's going to be a blessing to this country, I wish him the best."