Still reeling from the most painful Finals loss in PBA history, Alaska has no choice but to move on as soon as possible as the Aces have less than 10 days to prepare for the Commissioner’s Cup which they ruled in 2013.
But if there is positive news that can set their mood to compete for another championship is that the import who last led them to their 14th title is back.
Former PBA Best Import Rob Dozier will be back for the 3rd time with some unfinished business.
The last time Dozier was here was in 2014, when they failed to defend their Commissioner’s Cup title. That year, they squandered a 1-0 lead and lost their next 2 games to eventual champions San Mig Coffee Mixers (now Star Hotshots) in the quarterfinals.
“If we continue to just play the way they were playing and I come in right where I am, I think we have a great chance of playing for the championship,” Dozier told FOX Sports.
The 6-foot-9 Dozier is fresh from a runner-up stint with the Le Mans Sarthe Basket in France before leaving the team last December after his contract expired.
Another ex-Alaska import, Romeo Travis, took over his spot in Le Mans when Dozier opted not to re-sign and instead, fly over to the Philippines for the Commissioner’s Cup.
Dozier, who played with Derrick Rose in Memphis during his college years, averaged 11.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in the French league while helping Le Mans to finish at 11-4, tied for 2nd spot, after the 1st half of the season.
Coach Alex Compton was still an assistant to Luigi Trillo when Dozier played for them and while he knows what Dozier can bring to the table, he is a little worried since the 30-year old import was only limited to private workouts while they were in the thick of the Philippine Cup Finals.
And there is again the question of fatigue and burn out.
“Everyone in that locker room are tired and broken hearted. Just like last year in All-Filipino, we spent everything we had so I hope we could,” Compton said.
But Dozier is ready to pick them up and is still positive that they have what it takes to win again.
“We have a great chance of winning a championship. We got great team chemistry, a lot of the same players we had when I last played here. We got a new coach so I’m excited to go out there playing,” Dozier said.