FOR Alaska, three heads are better than two.
The Aces have added Eric Altamirano, Danny Ildefonso, and Tony dela Cruz to its coaching staff after the departure of Louie Alas and Topex Robinson for Phoenix.
Aces coach Alex Compton broke the news to SPIN.ph after practice on Tuesday afternoon.
“I just finalized it now,” Compton said. “I’m very happy (with their additions).”
“When they (Alas, Robinson) were going to be gone, I didn’t know what was going to happen. But with this happening, I couldn’t ask for a better situation,” he added. “Coach Louie and Topex are in a great situation. I think we got three guys in and they’re going to be great additions to the team.”
The 51-year-old Altamirano is a two-time PBA champion coach who spent time in the collegiate scene in recent years with National University, which he led to a historic UAAP championship in 2014.
Altamirano also started the National Basketball Training Center together with Compton.
“Coach Eric’s the guy who brought me to the Philippines. It’s funny how life has come full circle,” Compton said. “I’m thrilled. That relationship kind of speaks for itself. And his resume speaks for itself.”
Dela Cruz, for his part, is a 17-year veteran who played 12 seasons for the Aces before retiring at the end of this season.
“Tony’s an obvious choice,” Compton said. “He was an excellent player for a long time because of effort, technique, and dedication to the team.”
Ildefonso, a two-time MVP and eight-time champion, is expected to work with the Aces’ big men in Vic Manuel and Sonny Thoss.
“Danny is one of the best players in the history of the league; he’s a winner,” Compton said. “He’s also one of the best people and he’s a wonderful example.”
Jeff Cariaso has been promoted to first assistant among Compton’s staff that also has Monch Gavieres, Franco Atienza, and Paulo Layug.
“But with the atmosphere on our team, I don’t think there’s any real hierarchy,” Compton said. “I try to do a little bit of roundtable type of thing in the coaches’ office.”