Alex Compton (right) with Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin during practice.

Compton grateful for Gilas stint, chance to learn from Baldwin

MANILA, Philippines - Coach Alex Compton is thankful with his journey with Gilas Pilipinas, saying he learned a lot that he can use with his Alaska Milk team in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Compton said he gained much knowledge and wisdom from coach Tab Baldwin that he can impart to his Alaska coaching staff including Louie Alas, Jeff Cariaso, Topex Robinson, Monch Gavieres and Franco Atienza.

He also considered as priceless the experience gained by his players Calvin Abueva, Dondon Hontiveros and Sonny Thoss.

"We really gained so much in our stint with the national team. I'm grateful to coach Tab Baldwin for making me a part of it," said Compton, a neophyte PBA coach without prior experience of international competition.

"I learned a lot from coach Tab and I learned a lot from the whole FIBA Asia experience," he added.

Compton expects Abueva to be a much better player just like what Junmar Fajardo has become after his own stint with the national team.

Hontiveros said it's still a knowledge-enriching experience for him at 38.

"Basketball evolves. It's a continuing learning process and, definitely, a learned much in Changsha," said Hontiveros.

In Changsha, Hontiveros served as team skipper and starting shooting guard, Thoss was back-up to naturalized center Andray Blatche while Abueva played a key role, proving energy and intensity off the bench.

"That's one thing in coach Alex's mind in joining the Gilas coaching staff - to learn," said Alaska team manager Dickie Bachmann, who followed the Gilas games in the sidelines in Changsha with Sean Uytengsu, son of Alaska Milk big boss Wilfred Steven.

The Alaska people now hope the Changsha experience can be brought over to the Alaska team and be of help in the team's bid for a winning performance in the franchise's 30th year in the local pro league.

Last season, the Aces finished second to the San Miguel Beermen in the Philippine Cup and in the Governors Cup.

In line with the team's 30th year of being, the ball club has lined up some activities, including the naming of the franchise's 30 greatest players.

Sure to make the list are Jojo Lastimosa, Johnny Abbarientos, Bong Hawkins, Jeffrey Cariaso and Kenneth Duremdes, the pillars of the team's dominant run in the league in the 90s.

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