To coach team that drafted him a ‘unique opportunity’ for Jeffrey Cariaso
MANILA, Philippines—Jeffrey Cariaso played for four teams during his playing career in the PBA but there’s only one franchise that has been nearly synonymous with him, and that’s Alaska.
Chosen sixth overall in the 1995 Draft, Cariaso helped the then Milkmen to the 1996 Grand Slam and 13 years since,
“The Jet” is given the responsibility of leading the Aces to their next title.
Cariaso was promoted as Alaska’s new head coach after team owner Fred Uytengsu asked Alex Compton, the man who previously held the post for the past 15 conferences, to step down.
“It makes it ever more special because I started with Alaska and I’m known to be an Alaska guy throughout most of my career even though I moved a couple of times but people still relate to me as an Alaska guy,” said Cariaso Thursday in a phone conversation.
“To coach the team right now is really a unique and special opportunity.”
Cariaso, the 1995 Rookie of the Year, won seven titles as a player and won one more title, the 2010 Fiesta Cup, with the Aces before the end of his playing career in the same year.
Despite his success as a player, Cariaso said that there’s always pressure taking on a new role.
“I would say there’s always pressure and I think this is what we signed up for,” said Cariaso who was vacationing in Japan when he got the appointment. “That comes with the territory.”
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