Alex Compton was the first to admit that the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup will require another type of adjustment for his Alaska Aces.
The Aces opened the import-spiced conference with former Best Import Rob Dozier injured and bowing to the Blackwater Elite, 107-101 last week.
Plus, his team has barely gotten over a Finals meltdown that saw Alaska blow a 3-0 series advantage en route to losing to San Miguel Beer in the recent Philippine Cup championship.
“It will be a challenging conference for us,” Compton told FOX Sports shortly after Alaska’s Tuesday afternoon practice.
“And that includes changing import while Rob is continually doing his therapy.”
Dozier, best remembered for leading the Aces to the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup title, is out with a plantar fasciitis on his left foot.
The soft-spoken Alaska coach said Dozier is out indefinitely, which is why they were forced to get a replacement in Shane Edwards.
Edwards, who stands no taller than 6-5, appears to play in the mold of Wendell McKines, Alaska’s former import during the 2013 Governors Cup.
“He’s coachable and plays more like Wendell McKines,” shared Compton.
“He runs well, jumps well seems pretty brights. But we’ll see more of him once he plays.”
The Alaska coach said facing defending champion Tropang TNT on Wednesday will be a major concern.
Although the Tropa have their own troubles to deal with following the recent ban on Ivan Johnson, Compton said they will be going up against a talent-deep TNT side led by 3-time Best Player Jayson Castro.
“They are an excellent team,” said Compton.
“If you go through their lineup from top to bottom, they are definitely 1 of the most talented teams in the league today,” stressed the 41-year-old Alaska coach.
Other than dealing with TNT’s new import David Simon, who is fresh from a stint in the Korean league, Alaska will also have to consider the Tropa’s platoon of scorers led by Castro (24.0 points per game), Moala Tautuaa (13.3 ppg.), ranidel de Ocampo (12.3 ppg.) and Larry Fonacier (10.0 ppg.).
“I don’t think it will be easy. But that’s part of life.”
Tropang TNT currently occupies the bottom half of the standings with its 1-2 record after dropping its 2nd straight game when they lost to GlobalPort Batang Pier, 108-101 last week. – By Richard Dy
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