Alaska will be bringing in a new import just days away from its opening game in the Commissioner’s Cup after Octavius Ellis had to head home due to a family emergency.
Although the Aces have already secured a backup to replace Ellis, head coach Alex Compton said the real challenge is getting enough time for the new import to adjust right with three days away from Saturday’s game against the GlobalPort Batang Pier.
“Octavius had to take care of a family emergency and we don’t get in the way of family man so we respect him and wish the best for him,” Compton told INQUIRER.net on Wednesday after practice. “There’s a bit of a challenge. That’s just part of import conferences that you gotta get somebody else.”
“I’m working to get somebody here. It looks like we have a guy but I just don’t call somebody and say hop on a plane, be here tomorrow. It’s a little bit more extensive than that,” Compton added. “But we do have a guy we like that we’re working and hopefully we can get that process done and get him here as soon as we can.”
The replacement import, whom Compton refused to name, is expected to arrive in Manila on Thursday.
Compton, though, doesn’t want to speak too soon.
“I’ll know it when we pick him up from the airport and I see that he’s got two working legs and he’s good, but right now, we’re working on somebody. Like I said, the turnaround time for these things isn’t overnight. It’s a process,” he said.
Veteran swingman Dondon Hontiveros also hopes the import won’t have a hard time in learning Alaska’s system.
“We just lost our import because of personal matters and he has to attend to family matters and that’s the challenge we’re facing right now,” Hontiveros said.
“We only have a few days left before our first game and it would be hard for the import to do everything with only a few days before the first game. But hopefully, with our system it’s just going to be easy for him to adjust. Guys are really willing to help.”