Alaska head coach Alex Compton cannot wait for the year 2018 to start. After all, 2017 hasn’t been kind to the Wilfred Uytengsu-owned franchise and its American mentor.
The Aces finished second after the elimination round of the 2016-17 Philippine Cup and along with a twice-to-beat advantage going into the playoffs. But disaster struck in the quarterfinals as the team dropped back to back games to crowd favorite Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel to eventually bow out of title contention.
Things went from bad to worse the following conference as the once proud franchise stumbled to 9th place in the Commissioner’s Cup.
The same story unfolded in the Governors’ Cup. The Aces opened the conference with six straight losses to extend the team’s losing streak to 14, including the last 8 games from the Commissioner’s Cup.
While they were able snap out of ignominy by racking up 3 straight wins, they went back to their old ways and dropped their succeeding 2 games to finish the elimination round in a tie with the GlobalPort Batang Pier for the 8th and last playoff spot. The two teams figured in a knockout match with the Aces eventually getting the boot.
The Aces finished the 2017 season with a cumulative record of 14 wins and 22 losses, good for seventh overall.
Compton pins the blame on fatigue for the team’s dismal 2017 performance.
“Para sa amin naman, hindi magandang 2017 as a team. Meron talaga kaming dinaanang mahirap na mga pagsubok, mahirap na hindi ko ishe-share sa inyo, para sa aming pamilya lang yan,” Compton said.
“Ang haba ng season natin eh, kaya umabot din na na-burn out kami last year – ‘di ba four finals and then we pressed pa, so we’re the only team that pressed for three straight years, napagod talaga yung mga players,” added the 43-year old American mentor who was born in Makati City.