Alex Compton happy to help Gilas, proud to see Vic Manuel at national pool
MANILA, Philippines—Alex Compton couldn’t be any happier for his former player at Alaska in Vic Manuel, who is vying for a spot in Gilas Pilipinas’ 12-man lineup for the Southeast Asian Games.
Compton, the former Aces head coach was among the new faces at national team practice on Monday night after he was called by Philippine team mentor Tim Cone to drop by and provide new insights invaluable to the team’s SEA Games preparations.
“I’m so happy for him. He’s just like a basket waiting to happen. He steps on the floor and you’re like if he touches it, that might go in. It might just graze his hands and it’s gonna go in. it’s an honor. It’s everybody’s desire growing up to play for the Philippine team,” Compton said.
“So at least for Vic, whatever happens he was able to practice. It’s up to the coach, if he’s still gonna make the final 12, but I’m already really happy for him. And as a player, it’s fun to play with really good players. It’s really fun. Just being out there, you get to put Pilipinas on your chest and you play against the best, that’s great.”
Compton coached Manuel at Alaska from 2014 to 2019 before he was asked to resign at the Aces’ helm before the start of the Governors’ Cup.
Cone, though, cleared that Compton isn’t going to be an official part of his coaching staff.
“Alex is here for what we call fresh eyes. He’s not part of the official staff,” he said. “He’s not here in an official capacity.”
“So it’s nice that the guys came in and spent their own time, did it for free, not getting anything for it, just coming in and helping us out. But Alex, we think a lot about Alex. We like his pressure, the things he does, and that’s some of the things we’d think about doing with this team at some point during certain games.”
There was no hesitation on Compton’s part the moment he got the call from Cone.
“I’m just here, like coach Tim said, for some fresh eyes, tell him what I see. I think these guys got it, but he said come on down, so I came down. Anything for Gilas. It was a phrase for a long time: once Gilas, always Gilas,” said Compton, who is a former national team assistant coach to then-head coach Tab Baldwin in 2015 when the country bagged silver medals in the Fiba Asia Championship and Jones Cup.
“Seriously, once Gilas, always Gilas. Anything to help.”