Compton excited as Aces fight Elite
LESS than three weeks removed from one of the most mind-boggling collapses in PBA history, Alaska finally opens its bid for the Oppo Commissioner’s Cup when it battles Blackwater today at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Rob Dozier returns for another shot at a title with the Aces, who get going against the dangerous Elite in the 4:15 p.m. encounter.
Defending champion Tropang TNT plays all-Filipino against GlobalPort in the 7 p.m. contest.
“We’re getting back on the horse [that threw us],” Compton said in a recent interview as he and the Aces try to pick up the pieces of losing a 3-0 lead and eventually the all-Filipino title to San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup Finals.
“We’re excited. We want to put that behind us,” Compton said as he looks to Dozier to come up with the same magic that gave the Aces this championship in 2013.
Alaska has one of the league’s most potent local cores built around the energetic Calvin Abueva. And with Dozier around—assuming he is the same player that won the Best Import award once—the Aces are ripe to make another run at a championship.
Blackwater will be coming off an impressive win over Mahindra and the Elite will be no easy customers for the Aces, with import MJ Rhett slowly coming to form and Carlo Lastimosa sustaining a mean streak offensively.
Rhett is the youngest import in the bunch at 23 years old. Impressive with his great leaping ability, he showed a lot of improvement in the win over the Enforcers.
Lastimosa is averaging close to 33 points a contest for the Elite. And along with Reil Cervantes, who is coming off a superb outing, Blackwater’s two local cogs will be the biggest concerns of the Alaska defense.
Meanwhile, the Texters have yet to find a replacement for the suspended Ivan Johnson and will be playing the Batang Pier without an import.
League commissioner Chito Narvasa initially banned Johnson for life but reduced the penalty to a season-long suspension. The import admitted to cursing Narvasa during Tropang TNT’s losing stand against Meralco two Saturdays ago.
Meanwhile, GlobalPort has managed to make an import change, bringing back Calvin Warner in place of the ineffective Brian Williams.
Moala Tautuaa, the No. 1 pick in the last Draft, is not a legitimate center, based on his past performances. Though big at 6-foot-7 and agile, Tautuaa is not much of a post-up guy, but rather, a face-the-basket type of player who can explode on the move.
Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle will, as usual, be the main offensive options for GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio, with Jay Washington and Joseph Yeo the chief backups.
Williams managed to lead the Batang Pier to a 1-1 record but was clearly not an offensive player that could help the locals in scoring.