Alaska, a team that finished second in two conferences this season, has signed veteran shooting guard Dondon Hontiveros and reserve forward Noy Baclao to separate one-year deals as the Aces continue to put the pieces back together for the 41st PBA season.
Alaska team manager and board representative Richard Bachmann said that Hontiveros and Baclao are two of the nine Aces with expiring contracts this Aug. 31, which they extend to renew fresh deals.
“We’re ok now with Dondon and Noy. The rest, we’re still negotiating,” said Bachmann yesterday. “We’re confident that we’ll get them signed even before the expiration of their contracts.”
The other Alaska players whose contract will expire by the end of August include rookie guard Chris Banchero, forward Vic Manuel, backup guards Ping Exciminiano, RJ Jazul, veteran center Erik Menk, and reserve forward Paolo Bugia and guard Joshua Vanlandingham.
“We’re talking to Vic and RJ, and also Chris. We’ll finalize it when boss Fred (Uytengsu), who just returned from the US but he will be in Cebu for his Ironman event,” said Bachmann.
“Definitely, they’ll stay with us, we’re just looking on the number of years. After negotiations with the three, our next step is to sign the remaining expiring players, Erik, Ping, Paolo, Josh,” added Bachmann.
Bachman said that while they are keeping all players for next season, they are hoping to improve their roster via the PBA Rookie Draft, saying: “We’ll see who is available and can fit the system.”
“I have not talked to coach Alex (Compton), but we’ll have a discussion soon,” Bachmann said.
With the exception of Calvin Abueva, Bachmann said the Aces are open for discussion of possible trade.
“We’re not receiving any offer, or have talk to any of the other teams. It’s hard too because coach Alex is fine with the lineup. So we don’t know, we’ll see,” Bachmann said. (Waylon Galvez)