Alaska coach Alex Compton paid the ultimate compliment for import Shane Edwards, who on Friday gave way for a healthy Robert Dozier, as the Aces eked out a 104-98 win over a fighting NLEX Road Warriors side at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Compton described the NBA D-League veteran as an “import of character.”
“I’m blessed with that import of character. That was awesome. He helped us get to the quarterfinals. That guy is really fantastic,” Compton told media men shortly after the Aces closed the single-round eliminations with their seventh win.
The American coach said he was actually surprised to see Edwards join Alaska’s practice on Thursday even though he already knew that Dozier will be activated for the game against NLEX.
“We sat down and as in typical Shane fashion, he did it with such class,” shared the Alaska coach. “It (conversation) was light. He did it with such class dahil kadalasan kasi, kapag kausapin mo yung import na papalitan ka na, ang mangyayari diyan, kakausapin niya yung team tapos aalis na kaagad.”
“But Shane wanted to stay. He wanted to practice and he practiced yesterday and you’ll never know he got cut because he was the exact same person, who handled adversity with utmost class and he wanted to come to the game today to cheer on the team.”
Edwards, who played briefly for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, said it was his decision to watch the Aces on Friday, having developed a special bond with the team.
“I’m close with these guys. I’ve been with these guys and built a bond,” said Edwards, who turns 29 next month. “I’ll always support these guys. I’ll always come and show my support because I want to see them win the playoffs so while I’m here, I want to support them.”
In 9 PBA games, Edwards averaged 22.11 points, 11.89 rebounds, 2.56 assists and 1.67 steals.
He leaves Manila next Tuesday. — By Richard Dy