‘Win with integrity’: Alaska owner slams ‘underhanded tactics’ in PBA

Delfin Dioquino
‘Win with integrity’: Alaska owner slams ‘underhanded tactics’ in PBA
Aces honcho Wilfred Uytengsu says dubious trades and the practice of not honoring the salary cap create an 'unlevel playing field'

MANILA, Philippines – To stay away from underhanded tactics and to win with integrity – this is what Alaska owner Wilfred Uytengsu vowed that the Aces will continue to do as he received the first Lifetime Achievement Award during the 25th PBA Press Corps Awards Night on Monday, January 21. 

Uytengsu took the stage at the Novotel in Cubao to tackle the controversies that rocked the league throughout the years which, he said, has “led to an unlevel playing field.” 

This started with the Fil-sham debacle, where players with Filipino-like surnames were playing in the PBA with fake birth certificates and passports. Unfortunately, the league was slow to respond to this,” he said. 

“In more recent years, we’ve seen dubious trades that created an even more unlevel playing field, creating further disparity in the league,” he added.

Uytengsu also criticized the practice of not honoring the league’s salary cap which in turn “separates the teams further and further apart.”

He took pride in the fact that Alaska did – and will not – participate in such “tactics” as it looks to add to its 14 PBA titles. Alaska is tied with the Magnolia franchise as having the second most number of titles in the league.

“I believe we have a greater responsibility than just winning games, and that is to set an example and show the next generation how to do things the right way,” Uytengsu said. 

“As I look back now to more than 3 decades in the league, of course I’m proud of our 14 titles and more than 30 finals appearances, but I’m more proud of how we honored the game,” he added.

Uytengsu said the team has had to make sacrifices in keeping with its commitment to play the game with honor.

“I’m blessed that I have players and coaches that understand the Alaska way, even if we both know there will be sacrifices on their part because we do not tolerate some of these underhanded tactics,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m still looking for that 15th championship and the 16th and the 17th and so on. But it will always be about winning with integrity.”

The Aces were denied their 15th title after the Hotshots finished them in 6 games during the 2018 Governors’ Cup finals. They have lost all of their last 5 finals appearances. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.