ARE the 'triangle offense' days at an end for Alaska?
Although new coach Alex Compton said he’s bound to apply the same offensive pattern left behind by Luigi Trillo - a known Tim Cone protégé - for the remainder of the PBA Governors Cup, he also left the door open for an overhaul of the team's system at the end of the season.
Compton, a former star guard of the Manila Metrostars in the defunct MBA and for several years an assistant at Alaska, said that was among the thing he immediately discussed with the Alaska coaching staff upon assuming the head-coaching job on Sunday from Trillo.
Alaska has employed the triangle offense since the early part of Cone's 22-year stint with the Uytengsu organization in the early nineties.
“Pagkatapos ng conference then siguro we will revisit everything, kung ano ang dapat gawin, ganun,” Compton said in his usual Taglish manner on the morning before his debut game against Talk 'N Text on Monday.
“Ang focus talaga namin is mamayang gabi lang muna. Lahat nangyayari so quickly, so kailangan isipin namin yung game lang muna mamaya pagkatapos nun mag-uusap pa kami ulit,” he added.
Compton was one of the brains behind the Cinderella run of Powerade in the 2011 Philippine Cup as one of the deputies of Bo Perasol. Anchored on hotshot Gary David, Compton employed with the Tigers his ball screen system with a lot of success.
But after taking over at Alaska already two games into the season-ending conference, the Philippine-born American coach said he is not too keen to tweak the flow of the Aces’ offense at the moment.
“I think mahirap gawin yun (system change) agad. Tignan natin siguro pagkatapos ng conference na ito. Tignan natin kung ano mangyayari,” he said.
“As of now, kung babaguhin mo lahat, wala namang magandang mangyayari dyan. Hindi biro ito. Ang focus ko ngayon is 'yung Talk N’ Text (game). Ang lakas ng team nila,” Compton added.
The amiable coach also noted the heavy conference schedule wherein the Aces will play Monday then on Friday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.
“So mahirap ang sked namin. So suicide ang tawag talaga dun kung bigla kami magpapalit ng system,” he said with a laugh.
“Sa ngayon kasi hindi ko talaga iniisip 'yung next conference. Ang iniisip ko 'yung malakas na kalaban namin. Hindi biro ang situation namin now. Ang iniisip ko lang kung kami paano maging mahusay sa mga ginagawa namin ngayon,” he said.
“Wala akong oras na mag-isip ngayon kung babaguhin namin o kung paanong baguhin. We’ll just try to be good now. Yun lang,” Compton added.
Asked if the triangle offense remains fit for Alaska, which has been the franchise’s running system since the early 90’s with former coach Cone, Compton answered in the affirmative.
“Effective rin. Yan din naman `yung ginamit namin nung nag-champion kami (2013 Commissioner’s Cup). So I don’’t think 'yung system ang problema. Ang daming nag-champion sa triangle,” he said.
“Yung Chicago Bulls nga sila (Michael) Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman nga mabibilis sila, pero triangle ang ginamit nila,” he said.
Compton was asked about the comfort of his key players adopting the system designed by former college coach and long-time Phil Jackson deputy Tex Winter, considering that Alaska stalwarts such as Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio, Dondon Hontiveros, and RJ Jazul all thrive in the open court.
“I think okay naman sila (sa triangle). Kung uncomfortable sila, then we wouldn’t ever win (a championship),” he said.
Meanwhile, David believes that while Compton has been a believer in the triangle concept, he still vouches how good the American coach is as far as the 'ball screen’ offense is concerned.
“Oo, 'yun ang expertise ni coach Alex. Nung nasa Powerade kami siya ang naglatag nung sistema. Nagtulungan sila ni coach Bo. Effective naman talaga, kasi pabor 'yun sa mga shooters at slashers,” said David, who won three scoring championships playing Compton’s noted system.