Roster: Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, JVee Casio, Sonny Thoss, Carl Bryan Cruz, Chris Banchero, Ping Exciminiano, Kevin Racal, Jake Pascual, Simon Enciso, Abel Dolliguez, Marion Magat, Noy Baclao (Reserve list)
Key additions: Jeron Teng, Davon Potts, Ronald Pascual
Significant losses: Dondon Hontiveros, Tony Dela Cruz (retired, current assistant coach), Jaypee Mendoza
DURING the course of a three-day PBA preseason tournament, Alaska head coach Alex Compton didn't really focus on winning matches.
Like the other coaches, Compton was using the pocket tournament to identify the things the Aces need to improve on and assess where they are as a team ahead of the opening of PBA’s 43rd season.
His assessment? The Aces were far from top form, especially as the team was coming off a six-week break after the Governors' Cup last season. The American tactician also asked his players to stay away from basketball during the offseason and set aside a tumultuous year that saw the team drop 14 straight games. Thus, he understood why Alaska came in rusty as they got back in the grind.
"Pagkatapos ng last season, sinabi ko sa kanila na pahinga muna kayo. Ang ibig sabihin ko ng pahinga ay don't touch the ball, have a break from the game, travel with your family and do something fun but don't spend your break working at it and get away," he said.
"Sa atin, sa PBA, tayo yata ang pinakahabang liga sa buong mundo, walang ganitong basketball league sa buong mundo na mahaba ang basketball season nila, so I asked them to rest."
The 43-year-old Compton is hoping the break will work wonders for the Aces, who were hit with injuries to key players late in the season.
Now with a healthy Vic Manuel returning and the addition of rookies Davon Potts and Jeron Teng, the amiable mentor can see a fruitful season for the proud franchise.
"I don't think we are back yet but I think we improved," he said. "Hopefully it keeps going throughout the year."