ALEX Compton, the Gilas Pilipinas deputy mentor, couldn’t be happier seeing national pool members Paul Lee and Jeff Chan hitting their strides ahead of the Manila leg of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).
But Compton, the Alaska coach, is definitely frustrated to see the Rain or Shine stars deliver for their team in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The American mentor particularly lauded Lee, who hit the biggest baskets at crunch time, including the game-winner in Game Two on Sunday.
“Paul’s playing like their import,” Compton said. “He’s made those plays late.”
Lee and Chan registered 17 points apiece to lead the E-Painters in the 105-103 win that reeled the Aces to an 2-0 hole in the best-of-seven series.
“The only good thing I can take out of this game is, as a Gilas coach, if Paul and Jeff can play that way, that’s good for us,” Compton said. “I sure hope they would save it for the international competition.
“But I’d like them to get all their misses out in this series,” he was quick to add. “So they’re really ready to go for the qualifier.”
The defense-oriented Aces were once again left to rue a defensive breakdown in the last possession of the game where no one boxed out Lee, who got the offensive rebound that allowed him to take and make the game-winning basket.
“We talked about how every second counts and how we need to make less mistakes and be smarter,” Compton said. “And again, to the very end, we have a breakdown, we don’t execute what we want to do, and they score.”
“It’s not that in two games we’ve played terribly, but we definitely haven’t played well enough and (been) smart enough to win,” he added. “We’re going to have to earn it with a lot more precision.”