Uytengsu will watch Alaska Aces battle ex-coach | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Uytengsu will watch Alaska Aces battle ex-coach

/ 10:32 PM October 11, 2011

Today, Alaska owner Fred Uytengsu is expected to plane in from Kona, Hawaii, where he had been on a business trip for almost two weeks.
Also scheduled later in the day today is the game between Fred’s Alaska Aces versus the B-Meg Derby Ace, the new team where his coach of almost 23 years, Tim Cone, transferred just before the opening of the 2011-2012 PBA season.
From the airport, Fred will be driving straight to the Araneta Coliseum, according to PBA governor Joaqui Trillo.
Everyone in the Alaska camp knew that the boss didn’t want to miss even a second of this game which new Alaska coach Joel Banal had so meticulously prepared for.
They also knew that this is one particular game Fred would really hate to lose.
But when I bumped into Tim on opening day, he said in so many words that there was no bad blood between him and his former employer.
He had been honest with Fred, according to Tim, and had told him that he was moving to B-Meg.
However, Tim said Fred had requested him to keep this between the two of them, and not tell the rest of the team.
“Which is exactly what I did,” said Tim.
* * *
The other day I received a call from Joaqui. He said Fred had just touched base from Kona and had been a little upset after reading my column.
“It’s not true that Tim had told him he was moving to another team. He just said that he was taking a leap of faith, that he would try something new, something different. He was going to try another direction. He could have told Fred the truth and he would have given him his blessing, but he did not,” Joaqui explained.
Fred has always been the type to set the record straight. Joaqui said he would just have let the false statement go, but  Fred read it, even if he was thousands of miles away.
“Fred just told me to tell you,” Joaqui said.
* * *
Now I know why businessman/sportsman Mikee Romero signed up Bily Ray Bates to be assistant coach of his ABL team.
“Are you sure you’re doing the right  thing? You might live to regret it,” I warned him over the phone yesterday, well aware of The Black Superman’s reputation when he was still playing in the PBA close to 20 years ago.
Mikee said he voiced the same apprehension to Bates when they  talked over a week ago.
“Billy said he is a changed man. He is not the same Billy Ray Bates that we know. Do you know that from the airport upon his arrival here, the first place that he looked for was a victory church? Billy is now a God-fearing man.”
Mikee said he has always been a big fan of Billy.
“I used to wear a white headband on the court when I was still playing for La Salle to mimic his style.”
The next ABL season is scheduled  January 2012, with 8 teams currently in the roster.
“This could grow to 10 by January,” Mikee said.
The Patriots do not have a coach yet. There are three names in Mikee’s list at the moment: Topex Robinson, Ronnie Magsanoc and  Eric Altamirano.
* * *
Don’t be surprised if WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. walks into the ring wearing baby pink shorts when he squares off with Omar Narvaez at the Madison Square Garden in New York on Oct. 23, Manila time.
Nonito said he is wearing pink to observe breast cancer month.

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TAGS: Alaska Aces, Basketball, BMEG Llamados, Fred Uytengsu, Joaqui Trillo, Joel Banal, PBA, Sports

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