ALASKA coach Jeff Cariaso has been impressed with the rookies that the Aces have picked up, confident they can make an impact for the coming season.
Cariaso hailed the play of Jaycee Marcelino, Barkley Eboña, and Rey Publico as they have been working hard for the Aces in their preparation for the Philippine Cup.
Of all the rookies, though, Marcelino has been the most impressive, Cariaso said.
“Who’s really been impressive so far, if there is one that stands out, is really Jaycee,” said Cariaso. “We are happy with the way he has been playing. He’s been giving our veteran guards a headache every day. That’s the goal. That’s the kind of person he is. He is that kind of player.”
A product of Lyceum, the 17th overall pick in the 2019 draft, according to Cariaso, has been making a case for a spot in the rotation.
“Just keep working and keep understanding how we do things here. He is slowly earning his way into the line-up. Will see how his minutes come,” said Cariaso.
Eboña and Publico have also been showing their wares as they have been a welcome addition to Alaska’s frontcourt that has become younger.
“Barkley is, again, what you know of him. He is a go-getter, he is a guy that will do the little things for you. I think we need guys like that on our team. We area happy with him, good attitude, good work ethic,” said Cariaso.
On Publico, Cariaso said: “You can really see that he is kinda like that older rookie na hindi na siya ‘yung really young rookie that is kinda went behind the ears. You can tell that he has a little bit of experience. He is composed, he is a fighter, he is confident. We see him being able to have a lot of opportunities for us.”
“I’m really happy with how they are transitioning,” said Cariaso.