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Compton to stay

by Waylon Galvez

LAPU-LAPU CITY – Alaska, still winless after four games in the current PBA Governors’ Cup, is not about to change its coaching staff led by Alex Compton.

“I think we’ve been a very patient franchise,” said Uytengsu, who is here for the Cobra Ironman 70.3, an affair that his Sunrise Events Inc. is organizing for the ninth straight year.

Alaska head coach Alex Compton (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Alaska head coach Alex Compton (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

“If you look at how many few coaches we’ve had, and even players, that we think sometimes giving everyone a little more time to come together. Proving themselves is what’s important.”

“If you go back to the early days, if I had let (former coach) Tim (Cone) go sooner, maybe we wouldn’t have won a Grand Slam, we wouldn’t have won all those titles. The same could be said now of Alex,” he said of Compton, who has been with the team since 2014.

“Clearly the work ethic is there, his basketball smarts are there, and his EQ (emotional quotient) as a teacher to the players is there. So no… I don’t think it’s time for a change,” added Uytengsu.

Alaska dropped its fourth straight game this conference last Friday after losing another close one to TNT KaTropa, 107-106. The setback extended the team’s losing skid to 0-12, or since they lost their last eight matches in the previous Commissioner’s Cup.

Nevertheless, the Alaska boss believes that it takes one win for them to get their winning ways.

“The team is trying hard. I think we’ve got an excellent coaching staff and, I think we’ve got a good group of guys, but we’re not just closing out,” said the 55-year-old Uytengsu, whose team won 14 PBA titles including a Grand Slam in 1996.

“If you look at our games, we are leading at the end of first (quarter), or we are leading at halftime. In many cases we’re leading in the fourth quarter, but we’re not closing it out.”

“So you’ve heard coach Alex talk about defense being the culprit… and that’s probably it. We’re not just paying attention defensively to win these games. We’ve got to kind of get the monkey off our back, I think that we get that first win, then I think things will change.”

“The guys need to believe in themselves, believe in their teammates, not to try to win it by themselves, but five guys. Alaska has always been about team basketball, but right now I don’t think we are playing the best team basketball,” added Uytengsu.

As for the rumors that his team will soon leave the pro league, Uytengsu said: “People misconstrue that the team is going nowhere. It’s our franchise, it’s a proud franchise, and I think this is probably the result of some teams trying to get in the head of our players.”