ALASKA coach Alex Compton welcomed the upcoming PBA break for the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, saying it will give the Aces an opportunity to get sharper for the Philippine Cup.
Even though Alaska will play Columbian on Wednesday and Blackwater next Wednesday, Compton said the coming Fiba break will benefit the Aces after a short offseason followed their finals appearance in the 2018 Governors Cup.
“Fortunately, God bless Fiba and Gilas, we have two weeks (of break). But now, we have (to face) Columbian who's won some good games and look good and looks like a different team. So scrap and claw, and try to get our stamina back, and try to get sharper,” said Compton.
The Aces lost to Rain or Shine, 85-72, on Sunday in their season debut and Compton admitted the Aces are still far from top form, having rested before resuming training barely two weeks before the opening.
“We had a really short preseason. We, by choice, intentionally chose to give the guys a longer off,” said Compton. “We felt physically we needed it. Obviously, w have a bunch of injuries. We didn’t want to add to that by rushing everybody back and giving them a week or two off and then pounding them again.
“So we’re just not there yet. And we got a long ways to go,” Compton said.
Alaska star Vic Manuel expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup due to a back injury. JVee Casio and Simon Enciso are also nursing injuries.
Compton, however, expected other players to step up in their absence.
“Obviously, we missed some fire power. But I think the thing is we have a locker room still filled with PBA players who put uniforms on,” Compton said.