JUST three weeks after his unceremonious exit as Barangay Ginebra’s head coach, Jeffrey Cariaso is making a return to the sport he loved, not as a coach, but as basketball camp director for Alaska.
The @ALASKAsportshub, one of the Aces’ two Twitter accounts, made the announcement on Friday.
“Jeff Cariaso, a former @Alaska_Aces player and a PBA All Star is the new Alaska Basketball Power Camp Director,” in a post that appeared at the @ALASKAsportshub page.
The Alaska camp director job was actually left vacant when PBA legend and longtime Aces star Jojo Lastimosa decided to join the NLEX Road Warriors’ coaching staff before the start of the season.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for the 42-year-old Cariaso, who began his PBA career with Alaska after being selected sixth overall in the 1995 PBA Rookie Draft by the Uytengsu-owned franchise.
There are no indications at this point if the basketball camp job will eventually lead to a return to the Aces for Cariaso. It is believed the many-time All-Star has an existing contract with the San Miguel Corp. organization, unless it was bought out when he was fired.
Known by the moniker 'The Jet,' Cariaso bagged the 1995 Rookie of the Year award and won a total of seven PBA championships with Alaska, including the 1996 grand slam under Tim Cone.
After retiring at the end of 2010 season, Cariaso followed Cone as one of his assistants at B-Meg (now Purefoods), where he won four more PBA titles before assuming the head coaching job at Ginebra before the start of last season’s Governors Cup.
Cariaso lasted just two conferences with the Gin Kings, posting a 12-11 record before being replaced by Ato Agustin after the Gin Kings' early playoff exit from the Philippine Cup.