DJ Covington's future with Alaska was immediately put in doubt after just one game in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, no thanks to the import's forgettable debut against Purefoods.
The import fell short in more ways than one on Tuesday night as the Aces, without injured starters Sonny Thoss and JVee Casio, suffered a humiliating 88-108 defeat at the hands of Purefoods.
Even before he could play his first game in the PBA, Covington already surprised a couple of Alaska officials when he was officially measured at 6-6 - a couple of inches shorter than his declared height in the US.
To make matters worse, his debut was underwhelming as Alaska found its import outplayed by stand-in Purefoods reinforcement Marqus Blakely, incidentally the shortest import in the tournament at a shade below 6-5.
Covington did score 19 points and had five rebounds, but most of them came after Purefoods had all but put the game away. He also spent most of the game on the bench due to foul trouble.
The import later said the disappointing debut was a 'big eye-opener' for him.
“That (games against Purefoods) was a big eye opener on how I play the game and the way things are called,” he said. “I feel I could have gotten it more today. But I just have to go back to practice and work hard.”
At the same time, 23-year-old product of Virginia Military said the team failed to play ‘Alaska basketball’ against the Hotshots, lamenting how the Aces gave up 108 points to the enemy.
“Yeah, been practicing for six days, but I feel like we could have played good team defense because we got a lot of opportunity to turn things around. But we weren’t able to take care of what we’re supposed to take care.
“We didn’t play Alaska basketball. And on defense, we gave up 108 points, so we have to work on that next game, keep our head high and take care of business in practice,” he said.
Covington, a two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year, should get an opportunity to atone on Saturday when the Aces collide with NLEX at the Fil-Oil Flying V in San Juan Arena.
No doubt his future with the Aces will be in the balance in this game.