“All I can say is that we’re coming in with a renewed spirit full of passion,” is what Alaska Aces head coach Alex Compton told PlayPH. After meeting a lot of disappointment, the Aces are full force heading into the next PBA season. And at this point in the off-season, they’ve already made some big moves.
Their first move was to pick up college hoops superstars Jeron Teng and Davon Potts. In the recent PBA Draft. While the two talented rookies are looking to offensive power to the Alaska squad, Compton believes it would only be fair that they earn their spot on the rotation. “First, they’ll have to earn their playing time. I’m saying we got two great picks, but they’ve got to earn it,” Compton says.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Compton’s coaching staff would be upgraded with the addition of coaches Eric Altamirano, Danny Ildelfonso, and former Aces captain Tony Dela Cruz. Also, on November 18th, ex-Alaska import Sean Chambers will make his way back to Manila with one goal in mind: to bring excellence back to the Aces squad.
“They’re all proven winners,” says Compton when asked about the three new coaches on his squad. “If you go across the board, you’ll find that these coaches have great basketball knowledge that have always been winners, that have great work ethics, and can communicate and teach the game at the highest level,” he says.
Eric Altamirano, longtime coaching partner of Compton, was famous to be the former head coach of the NU Bulldogs from 2011-2016. His distinct coaching style eventually led the Bulldogs to win their first UAAP championship in 60 years. Next season he’ll be bringing his winning ways to the Aces squad with hopes to regain conference titles.
Also joining the Alaska coaching staff is 8x PBA All-Star Danny “The Demolition Man” Ildelfonso. Over his 17-year professional career, Ildelfonso stood proud as a champion. He’s won eight PBA titles, two MVP’s, five Best Player of the Conference Awards, and then some. On top of that, The Demolition Man has also been labeled as one of the PBA’s 40 greatest players.
Last, but not least, Tony Dela Cruz will also be suiting up, only this time from the sidelines. Dela Cruz’s return after his recent retirement as a longtime Aces player only goes to show he can’t stay away from the team he’s served. Like the names mentioned above, Dela Cruz will also be blessing the Aces with his years of PBA experience.
Overall, Compton believes his coaching staff roster is on the right track. “As head coach, I am blessed to be surrounded by them. We’re going to see some good things come through them. I believe that.”