2 games here, 1 game there

October 03, 2019

WITH Alaska off to a 0-3 start, coach Jeffrey Cariaso is not hiding his frustration over the Aces’ sorry situation right now in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.

However, the new Alaska mentor remains positive about the Aces’ chances, and that the slump hounding them is just part of the growing pains since he assumed the coaching chores from Alex Compton who resigned following the Aces’ string of frustrations.

“We’re frustrated that we’re 0-3,” said Cariaso on the day the Aces succumbed to their third straight loss – a 109-83 spanking they got from San Miguel Beer last Sept. 29. “May mga growing pains and we’re going through the growing pains right now.”

The Aces are the second winningest team in the league, having won 14 titles in their 31 finals appearances, with their last title being the Commissioner’s Cup which they won in 2013.

The Aces started their campaign on the wrong foot, falling in ambush to Columbian Dyip on opening day, 117-110, last Sept. 20, in what was a rude welcome to Cariaso’s coaching chores.

The Aces then lost badly to Barangay Ginebra, 102-83, on Sept 22, a skid that went unabated as they got clobbered by the Beermen in their last outing.

“But I think the one thing that we need to make sure to get out of this is we understand our identity here at Alaska. We understand how I’d want them to play,” said Cariaso.

Cariaso is hoping the Aces’ woes would end today, more so since they are parading a new import in Franko House as they play Meralco in the 4:30 p.m. first tussle of a double-header at the Mall of Asia Arena.

House replaced Justin Watts who suffered a strained calf during a practice prior to the Aces’ meeting with the Beermen.

House, who was once signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in the NFL only to be waived later on, easily passed the 6’5" height limit after being officially measured at 6’4 1/2 at the PBA office on Thursday.

The new Alaska import, a former football player at Concord High School in Indiana, was a two-time team captain at Ball State, where he finished his college career as the 11th in the school’s career list with a total of 1,371 points.

House also had stint in Europe shortly after being waived by the Bears and played for two seasons with Landstede Zwolle in the Netherlands. A former teammate of his is new Rain or Shine import Kayel Locke.

Whether House could cause a turnaround for the Aces will be known today because he will be up against two-time Best Import Allen Durham, who is averaging 26.5 points, 16.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in two games so far.

He is coming off a 32-point, 19-rebound effort in the Bolts’ 105-99 loss to league co-leader NLEX Road Warriors in their last outing.