ALASKA coach Alex Compton admitted the Aces' daunting PBA Governors Cup game against unbeaten TNT Katropa only got tougher with the suspension of Calvin Abueva.
The PBA handed Abueva a P22,000 fine as well as a one-game ban, which he'll serve in Friday's match against TNT at Ynares Center in Antipolo, after the Aces forward hit Ginebra's Chris Ellis in the face with his elbow.
"We play, I think, clearly one of the best teams in the league in Talk 'N Text without one of the best players in the league, so obviously that has an impact on the game," said Compton.
"I don’t know that there’s any game that Calvin plays where you don’t feel his presence. You’re gonna feel his presence for sure," he said.
The Aces mentor admitted Abueva will be sorely missed, especially since each game is crucial in a short conference.
"There’s only 11 games and one game can make a difference. In the twice-to-beat format where one to four gets twice to beat, five to eight has to win twice and 9 to 12 is out, the difference between those categories is frequently minimal, just one game or quotient in a lot of cases," he said.
"I don’t know where we'd end up, 1 to 4, 5 to 8, or we could be out, with or without Calvin so it’s a big loss," he added.
Alaska, however, has no plans to appeal the decision as they believe it was within the rules. And Compton even took pride in how Abueva handled the suspension.
"There’s some clear rules in the PBA about elbows to the face. When the rule is clear and something happened, while I’ll always defend any of our players as a person, if the action happened, then the action happened and we just deal with the consequences and move on," said Compton.
"I’m proud of [Abueva] in that he’s handling it the right way. Something happened, you did it, they enforce discipline and you accept the punishment, you move on and get better. Be a pro, go forward," he added.