Owner Uytengsu raring to see Alaska end 16-year PBA PH Cup drought
MANILA, Philippines – For 16 long years, the all-Filipino championship eluded the Alaska Aces, and owner Fred Uytengsu wants nothing more than to end that drought – no matter who stands in the way.
Uytengsu expressed his strong yearning to finally cop the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup title – a desire compounded by the fact that they came so close last season, only to fall short.
“Obviously the all-Filipino is the most special championship a PBA team can win and we would like nothing more than to win this championship,” he told reporters Tuesday, January 12, as Alaska returned to the finals after ripping Globalport in 5 semifinals games.
Uytengsu recalled Alaska’s “painful loss” against San Miguel in the Philippine Cup 12 months ago. A 7-game series that went the full distance, up until the final possession, as the Aces clawed back from 23 points down and Arwind Santos buried the title-clinching 3-pointer with 43.7 seconds left.
“The reminder there is that we have to play 48 minutes of hard basketball each game and we have to do it in each and every game we play, and hope we come up with 4 wins this time,” Uytengsu said.
“I would love nothing more than to present rings to them for our next all-Filipino win.”
'To be the best, you have to beat the best. I don’t care who we play, as long as we win.'
Alaska last won a Philippine Cup trophy at the end of the last millennium in 2000. They are back in the finals for the 29th time since joining the league in 1986, and a 10th time in an all-Filipino conference. This is also their first back-to-back all-Filipino finals since 1995-1996, when they won a grand slam.
Last season, the Aces were featured in two of the 3 finals against the same Beermen team, and lost twice. (READ: San Miguel sweeps Alaska for 21st PBA championship)
Alaska now awaits the winner between Rain or Shine and defending champion San Miguel, whose series is currently tied at 2-2.
“We’re gonna play who wins. And you be careful what you ask for,” said Uytengsu, explaining the reasons why his team would want to play either team.
“We wanna play Rain or Shine because maybe they don’t have the tradition or experience of San Miguel. They’re very talented, they have a lot of weapons. Look, it’s a 2-2 series.
“You wish to play San Miguel for redemption and you come up with an extremely well-coached team, they’ve won two of the last 3 championships.”
The hunger is insatiable at this point that it’s no longer important who they face as long as long as the outcome is different.
“Either way, it’s going to be hard,” he spoke with an intense sincerity. “To be the best, you have to beat the best. I don’t care who we play, as long as we win.” – Rappler.com