Cariaso will be sitting down with team governor Chito Salud to discuss the makeup and composition of the team in line with the vision and mission of Converge management under Pampanga billionaire Dennis Anthony Uy.
“This is where the ironing of all details begin. Marami pang kailangang gawin. There’s still a lot of details that we need to iron out and questions that we all have for each other,” said the veteran mentor.
Just last week, Converge officially took over the Alaska franchise after completing a buyout of the fabled ballclub that won a total of 14 championships in its 35 years of stay in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
A day after the formal sale, Converge management met with the entire team, according to Cariaso.
“It was good hearing how excited and passionate they are. In so many ways, they come in with the same mindset, same principles as Alaska. They want to compete, they want to win, and they’re going to make sure that that’s going to be the priority,” Cariaso said.
“Pretty much like an introduction to each other, and right now, that’s just all we did.”
But Cariaso said the mere fact that Converge bought the Alaska franchise lock, stock, and barrel, showed the firm saw something good in the team from which to built on.
“I think they understand and see the value of being to acquire and retain most of what used to be the Alaska Aces team. I think that’s very smart of them,” said the former Alaska player turned coach.
Cariaso said the Aces are definitely a playoff-contending team.
“Are we a championship-level team? Honestly, wala pa. We haven’t won anything, so there’s a lot of room for improvement,” said Cariaso.
“But we do have a solid foundation, and compared to a company coming in as a franchisee where they would start with a dispersal draft of players from other teams or available free agents, I think they are in a better situation because we’re intact. We have a solid coaching staff, we have a solid core.”
Besides acquiring the entire Alaska team, Converge will also have two first-round picks in the coming rookie draft.
“You have this foundation na and it’s something you grow with,” added Cariaso.
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