Cariaso sees a leader in Alaska import Olu Ashaolu
MANILA, Philippines—All it took was a phone call for Alaska head coach Jeffrey Cariaso to know Olu Ashaolu was the right man for the job.
The Aces tapped Ashaolu as their reinforcement for the Governors’ Cup and Cariaso is convinced the stocky forward will fit in nicely.
“Olu was wonderful right from the get-go,” said Cariaso on Power & Play, hosted by former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.
Although he had already seen what the former NLEX import could do on the court, Cariaso said he’s never personally met Ashaolu.
“I’ve never spoken to him, I don’t know how he sounds like, I’ve never met him,” he said. “All you based it is what you’ve seen on the court. And you can see how he can be an animal, how he can be strong force, and a warrior on the court.”
Speaking to him for the first time over the phone, however, left a lasting impression.
“But then you hear him on the phone and how he talks to you, you can tell that he’s a good guy, you can tell he’s a leader.”
The 33-year-old Nigerian-Canadian, who played at Louisiana Tech and Oregon in college, was a tireless worker and a consistent force in his previous PBA stints with the Road Warriors.
“This was a no-brainer, so I think we’re fortunate to have Olu,” said Cariaso, whose squad plays Arwind Santos and NorthPort to open the season-ending conference on Wednesday. The Batang Pier will field in Cameron Forte as their import.