AFTER a long wait, Wilfred Uytengsu is elated that one of the most successful ballclubs in PBA history is back where it belongs.
“Our tradition continues," the flamboyant Alaska team owner said, moments after the Aces booked a place in the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals with an 83-78 Game Four victory over San Mig Coffee.
“Sweet to be back in the finals - our 26th appearance in 27 years,” Uytengsu added.
The 3-1 win in the best-of-five finals capped a long climb back for the Aces, who hit new lows after an acrimonious parting of ways with Tim Cone - the man who led Alaska to its first 13 league championships.
Asked if the fact that the finals appearance came at the expense of Cone and his San Mig team made it extra special, Uytengsu answered in the negative.
“It didn’t make a difference. We had to beat San Mig Coffee regardless of who coaches them,” he replied. “They (San Mig) are a talented and well-coached team. I believe we just wanted it more."
The finals appearance is also no different from Alaska's first 25 stints in the title series, he said.
“Every finals is sweet. They are like your children. You don’t love one more than the other,” said the businessman-sportsman.
Uytengsu joined the team in the dugout after the Game Four win, telling his players that the journey was far from over.
“The journey isn’t over yet. We need to win the championship for us to collect our 14th championships,” Uytengsu was heard saying. “Let’s not put our efforts to waste."