Latest Stories

Stateside family celebration for Alaska Aces


SANTA MONICA, California—Unlike the other PBA teams, Alaska is priming up for the next conference in a pretty unique way.

“Family comes first” has become the battle cry for the Aces, who are ending an eight-day trip to this scenic American coast having bonded like, well, a family with the players’ wives, their kids, dads and moms and even in-laws in tow.

No less than billionaire team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu and wife Kerrie acted as hosts to everyone, making sure that all who joined the trip were well taken care of.

Uytengsu made sure he was the first to arrive—and the last to leave—at any function. “Mr. Boss” and “Mrs. Boss” also made sure they were at the door to usher the “guests” to their tables during team dinners.

Mr. Boss even drove team members around the city in his classy Porsche Cayenne to shop for necessities.

“The togetherness in the team has only gotten stronger,” said coach Luigi Trillo, who steered the Aces to the Commissioner’s Cup title. “This is the way the Alaska program is run. For us, it’s all about family. We get better this way.”

With an entourage numbering over a hundred, the Alaska group visited sites like the Universal Studios in Hollywood and Disneyland and had the chance to hit their game team owner in tackle football in the sands of Santa Monica beach.

“The child in him comes out during gatherings like this,” Trillo said. “Fred is like that, but when the conference starts, it’s all back to serious work for us.”

The players’ conditioning ended before this trip, when management sent most of them to Las Vegas for a stint in the camp of renowned trainer Joe Abunasar. Those who could not make it because of injuries, like Sonny Thoss and Calvin Abueva, received alternative medicine treatment in China.

The trip culminated with the awarding of the Commissioner’s Cup championship ring to every member of the club, with Uytengsu emceeing the affair at the posh Gladstone’s Restaurant.

Mr. Boss gave a moving speech about the recent success of his Aces, and why they shouldn’t rest on their laurels. He also called each of his players in a way only he can, describing their respective histories in the league and in the team without the aid of notes.

Sean Chambers, Alaska’s import in its 1990s dynasty, was also around. He broke down during his speech in front of this new batch of Aces, saying he felt he had embarrassed his squad for not making the Hall of Fame on his nomination.

Robert Dozier also joined the celebration, jetting in from Atlanta to receive his ring. And a very interested man who watched all of the proceedings was Wendell McInnis, the Aces’ bulky import for the Governors’ Cup opening on Aug. 14, who came with his wife.

“Man, I would have walked to get here and see this,” McInnis said after seeing highlight clips of the Aces’ past campaign. “There’s no pressure on my part after seeing that (film clips), only inspiration.”

The Aces board a Philippine Airlines flight for home at 10:20 Sunday (Monday night in Manila) and then plunge into training on July 25 as they start their campaign for a 15th championship.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Alaska , Basketball , gathering , Wilfred Steven Uytengsu

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Gloomy weather on Black Saturday–Pagasa
  • Mixed feelings for Gabriel Garcia Marquez in hometown
  • Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • Marketplace