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Alaska taps Cariaso as assistant coach

Jeff  Cariaso

Alaska has decided to finally include former player Jeff Cariaso as part of the Aces’ coaching staff starting this PBA Commissioner’s Cup after initially naming him as the head for basketball camp.

Cariaso, who was fired as coach of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel late last month following a disappointing Philippine Cup campaign, has agreed to a buyout with officials from his former team.

According to reports, Cariaso still has a year with his Ginebra contract.

Cariaso, 42, handled Ginebra for only two conferences. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach to Purefoods Star mentor Tim Cone, his former coach when he was still a player with Alaska.

Alaska coach Alex Compton welcomes the addition of Cariaso, who played 16 seasons in the PBA including 10 with the Wilfred Uytengsu-owned franchise before retiring in 2010.

“Jeff has been a winner ever since he’s a player,” said Compton when contacted by The Bulletin.

“Anytime you get a guy that has that kind of championship pedigree, and that winning character, it’s always welcome addition for Alaska. He’s been a long time Alaska guy,” said Compton, adding that the coaching staff, which also has Louie Alas and Topex Robinson, will figure out what exact role Cariaso will play.

For his part, Cariaso, in a statement released by Alaska, expressed gratitude to the Aces for allowing him to “come back home”.

“I am ecstatic to be back with Alaska,” said Cariaso, who was picked No. 6 overall by Alaska during the 1995 PBA Rookie Draft and a key member of the 1996 Grand Slam title team

“I am grateful for this chance to come home to the company that helped develop by basketball career. I’m glad to be back,” Cariaso added.

Alaska will start its Commissioner’s Cup campaign on Tuesday when it tackles defending champion Purefoods Star. The team is fresh from a finals stint during the Philippine Cup when they lost to San Miguel Beer in a classic best-of-seven championship series.