Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso just hopes to have his roster be taken a good look at and given a chance should entities explore the idea of buying the franchise to try their luck in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Matters in relation to that should become the center of discussions sooner than later, now that the Aces’ 36-year tenure in Asia’s pioneering pro league has ended following its Governors’ Cup quarterfinal loss to NLEX.
“I hope they see the team that we’re starting to build. I hope they see that this team is competitive. I think this team just needs a few tweaks here and there,” he said after the match Saturday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“Kulang pa ng isa, dalawang pieces here and there. Our young vets, learning how to play more consistently and stepping up in big games, katulad nito. So I hope. I hope that there’s someone who’s willing to take a risk with this team.”
Tiebreaker Times’ sources said that two companies are in play to purchase the Wilfred S. Uytengsu-owned franchise that has a P150-million price tag.
Those are Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. of Dennis Anthony Uy, and Universal Canning Incorporated of Anita Kaw, the makers of Family’s Brand Sardines.
Cariaso admitted that he’s ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to those talks since all of his focus was set on the playoffs. But if ever it materializes, the former cager really has his fingers crossed that the players will be kept.
He didn’t hide that it would also be good news if the coaching staff will be retained, too, but all that he wants is for the players to be given a shot.
“We’ll have to see this week or in the next couple of weeks, kung matuloy ‘yun. I know there’s deep talks with a certain company and if it happens, you know, that’s great because the priority there naman is the players e,” Cariaso said.
“Number one is sila ‘yung priority, which is something I’m happy about. I want them to have at least an opportunity or a chance to be part of the same team that may be a different name kung matutuloy ‘yun.
“And then, bahala na ‘yung bibili if we’re gonna be retained, if we’re gonna be part of that. But again, the hope is yes, I think our future is bright, we just need to sharpen the tools a little bit. Be better in big games,” he added.
With Alaska’s time in the PBA up, Cariaso will surely be more involved with regard to the team’s future in general in the coming weeks.
He disclosed that team owner Uytengsu is set to arrive in the country soon as Gov. Dickie Bachmann had mentioned. And that should be integral whatever their plans for the franchise would be from hereon.
“Right now is to see where the future is for this team. Again, I’m out of the loop. Wala akong alam in regards to that. They are the ones speaking, the management and owner,” said the 49-year-old former cager.
“So they’ll let me know when I need to know so I’m trusting them, and then… But I think that should happen soon now that this is done and we’re done with our campaign, and Alaska has ended its time here in the PBA. We’ll see after that.”
The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.