Compton explains decision to sit import Travis, top Alaska players in second half
Alaska import Romeo Travis sat out the entire second half of the game against GlobalPort as a 'precautionary' measure. Jerome Ascano

ALASKA coach Alex Compton found himself in a dilemma on Tuesday when he decided to rest his star players while keeping his team competitive against GlobalPort in their final PBA Governors’ Cup elimination match.

With import Romeo Travis (knee) and local standouts Calvin Abeuva and Jayvee Casio nursing injuries, Compton gave more playing time to his bench players, led by Noy Baclao (23 minutes) and Eric Menk (17 minutes) as the Aces lost, 117-104, in overtime.

Asked about the decision to sit Travis for the entire second half, Compton said, “Am I going to run my import into an injury in this game or try to be smart? We just had to rest some guys.”

Travis said his second-half benching in a game that had no bearing for the Aces was just “precautionary."

“Before it gets too bad, they wanted me to take a break and rest when I can,” the American forward said. “In the playoffs, I won’t have as much rest.”

Although saying it wasn’t intentional, Compton admitted he felt he needed to limit his stars’ minutes to give his role players more exposure and confidence in time for the playoffs.

“I knew coming into the game that it’d be a feel … and I just wanted to see where we’re at,” he said. “There are some things we needed to do.”

“But I was just proud of my guys’ effort,” Compton was quick to add. “We really wanted to honor the game and I thought our guys played really hard right until the end.”

Indeed, the Aces’ bench delivered and pushed the Jarrid Famous-led Batang Pier to the limit.

“The players were aware, even if I didn’t tell them, that it’s a no-bearing game, but we really wanted to emphasize playing as hard as we could,” Compton said. “We pushed a team that is very talented.”

“Honestly, I believe in our bench,” he added. “We really play a lot of guys at Alaska. You never know in the playoffs who’s going to step up and make the plays.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos