Aces’ boss: We played a really good team
WITH 1:22 left in Game 6 on Wednesday night, Fred Uytengsu, the outspoken Alaska billionaire-owner, strode toward where Rain or Shine owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu were seated in the VIP section to offer a hand of congratulations.
Those handshakes marked the end of a PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals dubbed the “Independence Series,” so-called because it was the first time in ages that no team from the combined six of the San Miguel Corp. and Metro Pacific conglomerates were left to dispute a championship.
Uytengsu stayed behind to watch the Elasto Painters celebrate on the floor, smilingly obliging members of the media for interviews following Alaska’s fourth failed title bid in the last five conferences.
“I enjoyed the series. I enjoy it when it is a level playing field,” Uytengsu said. “It was interesting.”
Going to his Rain or Shine counterparts was a great gesture on the part of Uytengsu, a feisty competitor.
“Terry and Raymund deserve to be congratulated,” Uytengsu said. “Their team really played well. They are a hardworking team, a well-coached team. If you look at that lineup, they’re not full of superstars.”
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao also paid tribute to Uytengsu and his team minutes after the 4-2 series victory.
“We played a really good team. Alaska is going to be the team of the future,” Guiao said. “The measure of your success is on what kind of team you beat. We beat a great team and it gives value to this championship.”
Uytengsu, on the other hand, tried to spin something positive for his Aces.
“The only consolation is that we’re the best second-place team in the PBA,” he said with a laugh.
Asked if there was a jinx somewhere, Uytengsu said he hoped not.
“I’m getting tired of losing,” he said. “I hope we can get the team healthy, make it back to the Finals again and hopefully win one.”