Cariaso replaces Compton as coach
Decades after anchoring the franchise’s dynastic run, which included a Grand Slam in 1996, Jeffrey Cariaso will try to author the end of Alaska’s current title drought.
The former Aces star has been tapped to replace Alex Compton as head coach of the club that turned the PBA into its private playground in the 1990s.
“[It is] truly a blessing to elevate into this level of leadership. I am honored for the opportunity and genuinely humbled as I face the challenge,” said Cariaso, known for his daredevil style of play, in a statement.
“Thank you [Alaska team owner] Sir Fred [Uytengsu] and management for the trust. Certainly I will give my best, nothing else.”
Compton, who steered the Aces to five Finals appearances but finished runner-up every time—including one where Alaska blew a 3-0 lead to San Miguel Beer—stepped down after he was asked to by Uytengsu on Wednesday.
“Yesterday at his house, a man I deeply respect, Fred Uytengsu, sat down with me, looked me in the eye and asked me to step down,” Compton said in the statement. “I accepted his direction and have agreed to resign as head coach of the Alaska Aces.”
“It has been an honor to coach such a storied franchise. I have made great relationships and have a lot of love for people in the organization. Being a part of the Alaska family has meant a lot to me and my family, and we will always treasure our time with the Aces,” Compton added.
Uytengsu also released a statement to media on Thursday, saying the franchise was “very sorry to see Alex leave the team.”
“He had a tremendous impact on the team and was very concerned with the players’ well-being on and off the court,” Uytengsu added. “We also share that winning [with integrity] is an important aspect of our team and are grateful that Alex stepped aside to pave the way for someone to lead the Aces to our next championship.”
Compton was often regarded as one of the better coaching minds in the league.
Apart from his basketball culture, Compton spearheaded Alaska’s familial culture on and off the floor, pushing his players to participate in social responsibilities.