AFTER losing its first three games in the PBA Governors Cup, new Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso continues to preach patience to his charges, hoping their woes would be over soon after going through what he termed as “growing (up) pains.”
“We’re frustrated that we’re 0-3, but I think the one thing that we need to make sure to get out of this is we understand our identity here at Alaska. We understand how I’d want them to play,” Cariaso was quoted as saying by pba.ph.
“So, during the process, may mga growing pains and we’re going through the growing pains right now,” he added.
The Aces try to snap out of their slump when they tackle the Meralco Bolts today in the season-ending tourney at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The curtain-raiser is set at 4:30 o’clock before defending champion Magnolia clashes with Rain or Shine in the nightcap at 7 p.m.
Alaska absorbed an 83-109 defeat to San Miguel Beer last Sept. 29.
The Aces will parade a new import in Ball State product Franko House, who replaced injured Justin Watts (strained calf).
House, 25, was once signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in the NFL only to be released later on. He easily passed the 6-foot-5 height limit after being officially measured at 6-foot-4 1/2 at the pro league office yesterday.
House was a two-time team captain at Ball State, where he finished his college career as the 11th leading scorer in the school’s career list with a total of 1,371 points.
A former football player at Concord High School in Indiana, House took his act to Europe shortly after being waived by the Bears and played for two seasons with Landstede Zwolle in the Netherlands.
Apart from House, also expected to do their part for Alaska are Jvee Casio, Chris Banchero, Vic Manuel, Abu Tratter, Simon Enciso, and Sonny Thoss.
The Bolts are raring to redeem themselves from a 99-105 loss to NLEX last Sept. 27.
Former two-time Best Import awardee Allen Durham, Raymond Almazan, Baser Amer, and Chris Newsome will be counted upon by Meralco to deliver in its bid to improve its 1-1 card.
Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said his wards must learn to play consistently.
Magnolia thumped NorthPort 96-80 last Sept. 27.
“We learned a lot from our last game, same scenario, we were in control for 36 minutes but this time we held on all the way through,” offered Victolero.
With a 1-1 record, the Hotshots will pin their hopes on former Best Import winner Romeo Travis, Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca, and Rome dela Rosa.
The Elasto Painters are also fielding in a new reinforcement in Kayel Locke, who replaced Joel Wright.
Locke, who played for North Carolina-Greensboro, has proven to be a winner with his recent stint in the Malaysian league. He’s been around playing international ball, with earlier stints in Kosovo, Latvia, the Netherlands, Finland and Estonia.