Shane Edwards or Rob Dozier debate grows louder as Alaska slumps to another loss
Shane Edwards' hold on the Alaska import job has loosened after a second straight loss while Rob Dozier recovers from an injury. Jaime Campos

EVEN on a two-game losing spree, Alaska remains undecided on whether to bring back old hand Rob Dozier to take over current import Shane Edwards in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

So far, there's no word on a possible import change despite a 102-94 loss by the Aces to the Enforcers on Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Coach Alex Compton hurriedly left after the game, although both Edwards and Dozier admitted nothing was said about the matter by the American mentor inside the Alaska dugout.

All Compton said, according to both imports, was the need for the Aces to have sustained energy on defense.

“You have to play both halves, you just can’t play just a half and expect to win. We have to play for 48 minutes,” said Dozier, who is finally practicing with Alaska after being downed by plantar fasciitis the past month that kept him out of action in the team’s first eight games.

Edwards agreed.

“We take pride in our defense, and we kind of lose focus on that,” he said. “We came out flat.”

If Alaska's problem is defense, bringing in Dozier may be a good idea.

While Edwards no doubt is the more skillful offensive player, Dozier, with his wide wingspan and physical play, can be a bigger defensive presence for the Aces. 

[See Alaska ambushed by Mahindra as Ramos runs riot in second half]

The Aces, coming off a big loss to San Miguel, fell to 5-3 overall in a tie with Barangay Ginebra.

Whatever happens, Dozier said he’s just trying to keep in shape, although there’s no timetable on when he can return - that is if he will be given a chance at all.

The former Best Import said he already started joining the Aces in five-on-five scrimmages the past two days.

“I’m just practicing and trying to get a feel of how my foot response,” said Dozier. “I'm just try to keep going and keep progressing with the practices that we have.”

He also has no problem should Edwards get to keep his spot.

“We both have the same job, no problem with that. Of course you know he’s been playing well. I have to support him. I got hurt and another guy stepped up, that’s basketball,” Dozier stressed.

The feeling is mutual.

“He actually helps me. I talk to him all the time, we talk about a lot of different things. He’s actually a big help (to me),” said Edwards, who is in his first tour of duty in the country.


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