January 13, 2018

Alaska, Kia duel is a reunion of sort for Alex Compton and Ricky Dandan

DESPITE the drubbing inflicted on KIA the last time, the Picanto is the least team Alaska would take for granted.

Aces coach Alex Compton after all, knows Picanto counterpart Ricky Dandan inside and out.

Other than being good friends and colleague, Dandan happened to be Compton's first ever coach in his first foray as a player in the Philippines.

"He was my first coach (Manila Metrostars). It's interesting how life works," said the Alaska mentor heading to his first meeting with Dandan on Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Although the Metrostars reached the semifinals, it wasn't enough for Dandan to keep his coaching post.

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When he stopped being my coach, I was fighting with him because I want him to fight being my coach. I want him to keep being my coach. But we become good friends and colleagues later," he said.

Now, the two find themselves on opposite end going to their 4:30 p.m. match-up.

And it didn't help any the Picanto are fresh from a 47-point loss (124-77) against Magnolia in Dandan's coaching debut to remain winless in three games. The franchise has dropped its last two outings by an average losing margin of 35 points.

The Aces on the other hand, finally broke into the win column turning back the Meralco Bolts, 103-98, for a 1-2 record.

While he expects a tough, competitive game against the Picanto notwithstanding their losing record, Compton looks forward to meeting on the sidelines his former coach.

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It's gonna be great to see him," he said. "He's a great coach, and it will be fun."(RC)