Foes first, friends after
So it’s no surprise that both mentors agree on one thing when they clash for the first time as head coaches on Wednesday night—that their teams will be playing pretty much the same way as evidenced by the stats.
“This won’t be a friendly game, not in any way,” Alas told the Inquirer over the phone as his Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters try to put a halt to Compton’s Alaska Aces’ four-game winning streak in the PBA Philippine Cup.
And that’s not all.
“We need this win to establish an identity for ourselves—that we can beat the elite teams in this league,” Alas said of their 7 p.m. clash at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay as the Fuel Masters seek a follow-up to an upset conquest of Barangay Ginebra over the weekend.
“You know, the hardest I ever played as a basketball player was against my brother,” Compton said. “I love him, yes, but when we’re on the court, we try to kill each other.”
And that’s how he sees his clash with Alas, his former coach in the MBA with the Manila Metrostars and assistant at Alaska.
“We can be friends [again, after the game], but when we’re on the court, we will coach our guts out,” Compton said.
Alas pointed out the similarities in their stats and where Alaska holds an edge—in the turnover and turnover points departments, which he helped sharpen while forging Alaska’s gung-ho style of defense.
“I think it will be an absolutely exhausting game,” Compton said. “Both teams will play very hard, we are a bunch of blue-collar workers out there.”
While Alas will have a complete lineup headed by gunslinger Matthew Wright, Compton said he is “noncommittal” as far as superstar power forward Calvin Abueva is concerned.
Though Abueva did practice on Tuesday, Compton said that if the 6-foot-1 bruiser’s family emergency still needs attending to, he won’t stand in the way.
Meanwhile, TNT KaTropa tries to get back on track and rise above .500 again when the Texters battle KIA Picanto in the 4:30 p.m. contest.
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