PBA Finals: Alex Compton 'sick to the stomach' as he sinks to 0-5 in Finals
Philip Matel on Dec 20, 2018 04:11 PM
Alex Compton knows it's hard to take five Finals losses.
ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- After another loss in the PBA Finals, his fifth out of five appearances, coach Alex Compton admitted that the feeling of frustration gets to him every time the Alaska Aces bow out of the championship series.
Compton, who is 0-5 in the Finals, set a new record for most Finals appearances without a victory, extending his torment against San Miguel Corporation-backed teams.
The Aces lost to the San Miguel Beermen in three heartbreaking series, with them bowing their heads down every time.
Alaska lost to San Miguel for the first time under Compton's watch in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, an epic seven-game showdown which was not decided up until the final buzzer.
San Miguel and Alaska then faced each other once more in the Governors' Cup Finals that same season, where the Aces and import Romeo Travis were swept 4-0 by the same squad.
His squad then faced the Paul Lee-led Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the Commissioner's Cup Finals the very next season, where they lost in six games. It also featured a Paul Lee dagger, with the guard drilling the game-winner from the baseline, a similar shot Lee drilled in Game 5 of this series over two years later.
Despite all this, they held their head up high and faced dreaded San Miguel the very next conference, and they looked like they had the series in the bag, up 3-0.
However, the Beermen established history and won the next four games to become the first PBA team ever to climb back in a run now immortalized as the 'Beeracle'.
Fast forward to Wednesday evening. Magnolia used its choking defense to get easy baskets and it became the difference in the 102-86 clincher at the Ynares Center here.
"Right now I feel sick to my stomach, but you know, the bottom line is, if you don't win the championship in the PBA, you lost. So it's all of us, we lost in the Finals. 11 teams lost to Magnolia, we lost in the Finals. That's how it works," the mentor said after the season-ending loss.
"I think what's particularly painful about the Finals loss is that you're there. It's that you're there. It's always frustrating."
Even though he has not won a Finals series just yet, Compton knows that it is a better feeling to have fought hard but fell short than a disastrous season like the previous one.
The former pro also lamented if the ball did not sail to Paul Lee's hands in Game 5, which led to the Best Player of the Conference drilling the game-winner with 1.3 seconds left to take the 79-78 win at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
"But when you're there, when you're a blocked shot, loose ball away from winning Game 5, when you're there, everything just feels... it's more painful in a sense."
With the PBA season set to start January 2019 and end January 2020, there will be no real offseason, since the three-conference tournaments will have long breaks due to the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, and the South East Asian Games set to be held in the country November.
In a team with no real superstars, they rely on Compton's system and Alaska's culture to get wins, but of course, it would be difficult to be good if the players are nicked and banged up due to injuries.
How will Alaska deal with the long and winding road that is the PBA season?
"So, the question is how do you handle a pre-season going into another 14-month season, that's due to end late January of 2020. There might be a little bit of triage early on."
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