Back in 1998, Alex Compton was just a scrawny 24-year-old looking for a big break in the Philippine basketball scene.
Trying his luck in the now defunct-Metropolitan Basketball Association, the Philippine-born American found himself playing for the Manila Metrostars coached by Ricky Dandan.
Two decades later, the two once again crossed paths, this time, as coaches on opposing sides in the PBA.
Compton beat his former mentor as Alaska dealt Dandan’s Kia a 102-65 mauling in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
The 43-year-old Compton admitted it was hard to see his old coach suffer this ignominy given the history the two of them share.
“Coach Ricky is a good friend, so it’s tough. It’s really tough,” said Compton, who served as an assistant for Dandan in his stops in Welcoat in the PBL and Powerade in the PBA.
Though he is glad with how things are going for his team, Compton couldn’t help but feel bad for Dandan with the Picanto on a 16-game slide dating back to the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Their guys are working hard. I don’t think any of us coaches ever feel really good about blowouts. He just took over early in the season so he’s trying to put his system in,” he said.
And Compton is wishing Dandan nothing but the best as he hopes to see him succeed in the pro ranks.
“I love coach Ricky, and he’s just in a tough position,” he said. “I know he’s got a great basketball mind, but he just stepped into a really difficult situation. He’s got a tough job, but I’m sure that he’ll get those guys playing because I know he’s a good coach.”