Alaska Aces leaving PBA? Not according to Commissioner Marcial

Image from Alaska Aces website
  • Rumors of Alaska leaving the PBA has surfaced online
  • However, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said there is no indication it will happen soon
  • The Alaska Aces also released a statement on Facebook

Is the Alaska Aces finally leaving the professional basketball league?

As far as Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Willy Marcial is concerned, there is no indication that the Uytengsu franchise has played their last game after 35 years, 14 championship trophies and a historic grand slam.

Rumors of Alaska leaving the PBA has been circulating online after a sports journalist revealed on Twitter about the team being “on its way out”.

Image from Alaska Aces Facebook page

“I hope the organization gives light on this TRUTHFULLY to finally settle the concern of their die-hards. After all, they are one of the most loved franchises in the league. I hope the organization answers this to finally settle the concern of their die-hards,” Badua tweeted.

Badua further revealed that Chooks-To-Go has been planning to enter the PBA and is interested in acquiring the Alaska franchise; although this move is expected to face steep opposition from the PBA Board of Governors for yet undisclosed reason.

At the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, Commissioner Marcial said he has spoken to Alaska team governor Dickie Bachmann who “merely laughed it off ” when asked about the rumor.

Image from Alaska Aces website

“Sinasabi ko, as of now, sa pagkakaalam ko at kausap ko si governor Dickie Bachmann, wala. Hindi aalis ang Alaska sa PBA,” said Marcial. [I’m saying, as of now, according to my knowledge and I have just spoken with Governor Bachmann, no. Alaska is not leaving.]

Nevertheless, a week after the rumor surface, Alaska has issued a statement to the public.

“Alaska is eager for the season to resume and will be ready for battle. And more importantly, Alaska is staying the course to show that our team will always contribute to the welfare of the league, and be part of the good to make a better world through our passion for basketball,” read the statement.

Image from Alaska Aces Facebook page

The Alaska team entered the PBA in 1986 as Alaska Milkmen and has since won 14 PBA championships, 13 of which under Coach Tim Cone’s tutelage including the rare 1996 grandslam.

It has produced a number of MVPs like Johnny Abarrientos, Kenneth Duremdes and Willie Miller, as well as PBA legends like Jojo Lastimosa and Bong Hawkins. Its current coach is Jeffrey Cariaso, also an alumnus of the team.