ALASKA coach Alex Compton is sticking to the positives and standing by his wards after a debacle in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against San Miguel Beer.
The Aces made the finals for the third time in four conferences, yet suffered the same fate – only far worse – against tormentor Beermen after squandering four chances to close out the series.
“I’d just like to say, thank you, Lord. I’d like to honor Him for bringing us here,” Compton said after the historic game. “I never thought when I took over for Alaska that we would be in almost five of six finals. We were a wet spot away in my first conference from being in five of six finals.
“That’s because I’m surrounded by excellent people in an organization of integrity,” he added. “San Miguel is the deserving champion … but there is not another team on this planet that I would rather coach than the guys in that locker room who are all broken-hearted right now.”
Compton was understandably hard on himself for failing to steer the Uytensu franchise to its first title in three years.
“My life is better because of the people that I get to work with, so I wish I delivered for them. I wish I had,” the American coach said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get to coach (another) fine group of gentlemen (as I get to coach with every day).”
“I got to find a way to get them a ring,” he added.
The Aces have a chance to bounce back right away in the Commissioner’s Cup, but Compton admitted it’s going to be an uphill climb after what his wards have been through.
“A large part of that is the psychological, mental, emotional thing,” Compton conceded. “When you look at these numbers (looks at stat sheet), it’s easy to get caught up with numbers. But behind each jersey number is a human being. It has family members, kids, and they’re guys that have dreamed of winning an all-Filipino.”
“I hope we can lick our wounds and get up,” he added. “But it sure won’t be easy.”
“All I can say to the Alaska fans is that we will keep fighting as hard as we can with whatever we got left in the tank,” he continued. “If we’re on the reserve tank, we’ll burn it up until we stall.”