PBA: Compton sees Ayaay transition to Alaska as seamless one
Philip Matel on Dec 17, 2018 12:58 PM
Alaska Aces Alex Compton knows MJ Ayaay can find a role for the team in no time.
Alaska Aces head coach Alex Compton is very much confident that first-round draft pick MJ Ayaay can find his niche easily in the team.
The former Lyceum team captain was picked up by the Governors' Cup finalists with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft at Robinson's Place Manila Sunday afternoon.
Compton cited the character of Ayaay along with their other draft pick, Ateneo's Gideon Babilonia, as the reason why they chose them in the annual affair. The duo were the only picks of the team in the five-round event.
"I think we got exactly what we wanted. Both these kids are character kids and they work really hard, they're committed to the team. We're excited to bring them in knowing what they can do," the coach said.
Furthermore, Compton stated that Ayaay played in the system of former team assistant coach Topex Robinson, who runs a similar scheme on both ends of the court.
With a chip on his shoulder, the coach knows Ayaay can find a role for the team in no time.
"He's a really tough kid and I think he's an overachiever, a winner, and a leader. He was coached by Coach Topex who runs the same system to us," shared Compton.
"[Robinson has] been an assistant to me before and we share a lot of our basketball and leadership philosophy so I think the transition for MJ will be a fairly smooth one. It won't be a radical departure than what he's used to in college."
For Ayaay, who was seen hanging out with teammate CJ Perez before the latter was picked first overall, he did not expect to be chosen that early and just let fate do its wonders for him.
"Hindi ko nga rin ine-expect eh. Basta ako, relax lang ako doon sa likod tapos nagdadasal lang ako, kung ano ang ibigay ni God, grab ko na lang, pag-trabahuhan ko na lang," the former LPU skipper uttered.
The 6'1" guard from Quezon also added that the NCAA Season 93 MVP immediately congratulated him for being picked just eight spots below him.
"Nagte-text kami kasi andoon siya tapos andoon ako. Sabi niya, congrats, tapos sabi niya sa akin, ang angas mo, Alaska ka. Kahit naman saan kami, basta kung anong ibigay ni God."
Ayaay also bared that Compton immediately welcomed him to the squad with an endearing message that made him already feel at home.
"'Welcome and good luck and I love you.' Meron ganoon eh, seryoso, nagulat ako."
By privilege of being a first-rounder, his contract is already guaranteed but the 25-year-old hopes to temper expectations in his rookie year.
"Pressure, wala, hindi ko naman inexpect ito eh. Kumbaga, pag nag-practice na lang ako, ibigay ko lang ang best ko para matulungan ang teammates ko at yung Alaska."
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