Compton steps down as Alaska coach

After five championship round failures, Alex Compton stepped down as head coach of the Alaska Aces on Thursday. He was replaced by assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso.

The last time Alaska won a championship was during the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup under its then coach Luigi Trillo. Compton was appointed head coach of the Aces in May 2014. Alaska’s last finals appearance was during December’s Governors’ Cup but lost to Magnolia in six games.

Compton said that he arrived at the decision after a meeting with team owner Wilfred Uytengsu.

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Coach Alex Compton reacts during a game. PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

“Yesterday at his house, a man I deeply respect, Fred Uytengsu, sat down with me, looked me in the eye, and asked me to step down. I accepted his direction and have agreed to resign as head coach of the Alaska Aces,” Compton said in a statement released by Alaska.

“It has been an honor for me to coach such a storied franchise. I have made great relationships with a lot of love for people in the organization. Being a part of the Alaska family has meant a lot to me and my family, and we will always treasure our time with the Aces.”

Uytengsu recognized Compton’s invaluable contribution to the team.

“We are very sorry to see Alex leave the team. He had a tremendous impact on the team and was very concerned with the players’ well-being on and off the court. We also share that winning (with integrity) is an important aspect of our team and are grateful that Alex stepped aside to pave the way for someone else to lead the Aces to our next championship,” said Uytengsu in a statement released to the media on Thursday.

Besides Compton, assistant coaches Eric Altamirano and Paulo Layug also tendered their resignation.

Tony Dela Cruz, Danny Ildefonso, Monch Gavieres and Franco Atienza will remain as Cariaso’s deputy coaches.

Cariaso, 46, who joined the pro league in 1995, is happy to take the position.

“Truly a blessing to be elevated to this level of leadership. I am honored for the opportunity and genuinely humbled as I face the challenge,” said Cariaso in the same statement released by Alaska.

Cariaso was a member of the Alaska team that won a Grand Slam in 1996 under the Aces’ then coach Tim Cone.

Uytengsu is hoping that Cariaso will become the first Alaska player to win a championship both as a player and a head coach.

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