ALASKA coach Alex Compton welcomed the holiday break – however short it is – following a disappointing year that ended with a 106-98 loss to TNT KaTropa in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Friday night.
After making four finals appearances in two seasons from 2014 to 2016, the Aces underwhelmed in the year about to end with a slump that included a 14-game losing streak.
Starting the new season with two losses, the Aces have now lost all but three of their last 21 games dating back to the last Commissioner’s Cup last season.
No wonder Compton can't wait to put the year behind him.
“Para sa amin naman, hindi magandang 2017 as a team,” Compton said. “Meron talaga kaming dinaanang mahirap na mga pagsubok, mahirap na hindi ko ishe-share sa inyo, para sa aming pamilya lang yan.”
“But sabi ko nga sa kanila, mag-enjoy kayo sa New Year, mag-celebrate kayo sa New Year sa inyong mga pamilya tapos flush na natin lahat yan down the toilet kasi 2018 has new hope and we’re working and we’re going to come back,” he added.
The two-day New Year’s break comes at a perfect time for the Aces, he said.
“Kailangan,” Compton said. “Ang haba ng season natin eh, kasi umaabot din kami na nag-burn out kami last year eh – ‘di ba four finals and then we pressed pa, so we’re the only team that pressed for three straight years, napagod talaga yung mga players.”
“A part of being a head coach in the pros is knowing when to pull back and rest guys or when to press harder,” he added. “Hindi ito mga college players; these guys need some time to recover and the New Year I think, it’s time for reflection.”
One player who needs to recover is Sonny Thoss, who played less than 11 minutes due to a leg injury against the Texters, contributing six points after making all his three attempts from the field, along with four boards.
“I don’t talk about injuries but Sonny’s been playing on one leg,” Compton bared. “He practiced two days basically before our first game and then he’s in and out of practice because he’s been playing on one leg, so he gets better, we’ll get better."