After playing for 14 long months last season, Alaska will be forced to rest several of its key players in the PBA Philippine Cup, which opens Sunday.
This is why coach Alex Compton is not expecting too much out of his squad, which lost to Magnolia in the recent PBA Governors’ Cup.
In fact, they have yet to hold one practice session since losing to the Hotshots in the finals.
“We’ll start on Monday. Hindi pa nag-uumpisa, ang dami naming injuries so low point,” Compton said.
“We have to recover and we have to try to build our bodies right back again. Nangyari kasi last season halos 14 months kaming naglaro so bugbog pa ang mga player.”
Compton said theAces are going to miss a lot of his core players at the onset of the Philippine Cup.
“Baka wala pa si Simon Enciso, Vic (Manuel) will be out for a large portion of the conference, we’ll see how long. Chris Banchero will probably be out, he’s recovering from injury,” he said.
Manuel was not able to join the Aces throughout the finals due to a knee injury. Banchero is still nursing an ankle injury, while Enciso is still recovering from a knee operation.
Even Sonny Thoss and Jayvee Casio are recovering from injuries, too.
Compton is expecting the rest of the team to step up and he has seen some of his second stringers shine during their losing campaign against Magnolia.
“In the finals Jake Pascual really stepped up, really contributed for us. Bryan Cruz stepped up, able to lead us there. Devon Potts got some key minutes, those guys would have to come in. Obviously, Jeron (Teng) will keep growing in the role that he has. But it’s going to be everybody and we need everybody,” he said.
“We usually don’t focus on the results right away. Sa amin it’s gonna be trying to play right, are we making the good decisions, are we playing hard, the Alaska way.
“We’re gonna be a little out of shape, and have key players that aren’t playing, we going to have other players excited for the opportunity and the responsibilities that they’ll have trying to set into those roles.”
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