Filling huge void left by Baguio not just on one guy but on entire Aces backcourt, says Compton
Alex Compton praised Cyrus Baguio's class and professionalism for paying a last visit to the Alaska team before joining Phoenix. Jerome Ascano

ALASKA coach Alex Compton admitted it’s hard to replace Cyrus Baguio, but his departure will give others a chance to step up starting in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Speaking a day after the Aces traded their longtime star to the Phoenix Fuel Masters in exchange for two future draft picks, Compton called on the rest of his backcourt to take on the cudgels.

“We lose Cy’s leadership and scoring ability, among other things,” the American coach told after practice. “It means that other players will have to try to fill the production of Cy.”

“He is a star veteran in our league and those are big shoes to fill, and it’s on other guys to fill the void, and really that’s going to be a (collective) issue than one guy,” he added.

One player who could fill the void left by Baguio is Kevin Racal, the Aces’ top rookie who has shown flashes of his potential in the Commissioner’s Cup. But Compton refused to put the burden solely on him as it runs counter to their system.

“I don’t put the load on any one single guy,” Compton said. “You watch the way we divide minutes, it’s not all of a sudden that one guy’s going to play 35 minutes a game. It’s just not what we do.”

“I think a lot of guys will have to carry the load. You do it as a group,” added the Aces coach, who leans on a backcourt that also features RJ Jazul, Chris Banchero, Dondon Hontiveros, JVee Casio, and Ping Exciminiano.

Compton also noted he will insert rookie big man Marion Magat in the playing roster to replace Baguio's spot.

Baguio, who played six years at Alaska, met with Alaska owner Wilfred Uytengsu before paying a last visit to Aces practice to say his last goodbyes on Thursday .

The affable cager, however, politely declined to grant an interview.

“I asked him how he wanted to talk to his team,” Compton said. “You afford anybody the opportunity to say goodbye to his teammates, especially a guy like Cyrus and it was best for him to come at a time he came today, so guys stuck around.”

“Cy did a classy thing today in meeting with Fred,” he added of the University of Santo Tomas product. “That just indicates Cyrus class and professionalism. That’s a great example for players from every team.”


Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos