TOKYO – Alaska has no plans of breaking up the core of the team that reached the PBA finals twice last season as the Aces are now in the process of bringing everybody back including key players Chris Banchero, RJ Jazul, and Vic Manuel.
Aces team manager Dickie Bachman said negotiations with the three for their new contracts will start once he gets back to Manila following the annual planning session of the entire league board here.
The Alaska official disclosed the team is offering Jazul, Banchero, and ‘The Muscle Man’ with a two-year contract each.
“We’re just waiting for their agents for negotiations to start going. But we definitely want all of them back,” Bachmann told Spin.ph.
Among the Alaska players already signed to new deals are veterans Dondon Hontiveros and Noy Baclao – one year each – and All-Defensive team member Ping Eximiniano (two years).
All five played major roles as the Aces made the finals of both the Philippine Cup and Governors Cup, twice finishing runner-up to the San Miguel Beermen.
Still unsigned are Eric Menk, Paolo Bugia, Josh Vandanligham, and skipper Tony Dela Cruz, who remains in the US to attend to his ailing wife.
But Bachmann signified intentions by the Aces to offer the four players new deals, especially with the Aces having to pick no. 11 in the coming Rookie Draft.
“The core is still there (Sonny Thoss, Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio). So we’ll try to keep the team intact,” said the Alaska team manager. “We reached the finals, although we fell short again (Governors Cup). But hopefully, this all-Filipino Cup we will be back.
“I just see our team improving every season, every conference, and hopefully down the road, will be able to get that 15th championship.”