Alex Compton back at Gilas Pilipinas sidelines: 'I love being here'

MANILA, Philippines – Alex Compton returns to coaching and he could not be any prouder that it is with Gilas Pilipinas.

Compton will serve as deputy to interim Gilas coach Mark Dickel for the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers in his first coaching job since he stepped down from his post as Alaska head coach in August last year. 

"I love being here," said Compton, who appeared in their first practice on Thursday, February 6, wearing a Gilas Pilipinas shirt from years back. 

Compton added, "If I only ever had to coach one team – that's not the nature of coaching, that's not how coaching works – but if I only ever had to coach one team, this would be it, Gilas would be it."

While it has been almost half a decade since he became part of the Philippine team as an assistant coach to Tab Baldwin in 2015, familiarity will not be an issue for Compton. 

Joining Compton in the coaching staff are Baldwin, Topex Robinson, who was his deputy in Alaska for 3 years, and Sandy Arespacochaga. 

Also, Compton has known several players in the 24-man pool since they were young, among them Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño, and even PBA veteran Marc Pingris. 

"I even knew Ping in high school when I was with the Metrostars, still playing," said Compton, who started his career in the Philippines as a player in the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association.

"So small, small world in basketball in the Philippines. Not surprised to see these guys here. They deserve to be here, and hopefully, we can get the job done."

Compton added he will do "whatever" Dickel and Baldwin want him to.

"I really like the system, really respect the coaches, and [I'm] just excited to help in any way possible," Compton said. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.