CLASS organization, winning tradition, We Not Me.
Mere mention of these words and the Alaska franchise comes to mind, for these are qualities that best embody the Aces in their 33 seasons in the PBA.
And certainly, it’s a reflection of the way team owner Wilfred S. Uytengsu handled the ballclub, which has won a total of 14 championships – tied for second most in the league - crowned by a grand slam in 1996.
As the PBA Press Corps celebrates the silver anniversary of its yearly Awards Night, Uytengsu will be recognized for what he has done for the proud franchise.
A former member of the national swimming team and an active triathlete, the Alaska Milk executive is going to be the recipient of a first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the group of men and women who regularly covers the PBA beat.
In a 25-year span since the PBAPC first staged the affair in 1993, the Aces bagged 13 championships with Uytengsu – who’s been with the team since its debut season in 1986 - as the single most influential force behind the organization.
During the 1994 to 1998 seasons, the franchise claimed eight out of the 16 conference titles at stake, including the 1996 grand slam, and produced two of the five MVPs in that stretch in Johnny Abarrientos (1996) and Kenneth Duremdes (1998).
Tim Cone, the most accomplished coach in PBA annals, was responsible for 12 of the 13 championships the Aces had in the last 25 years.
And even after Cone left the franchise, Alaska remained competitive and consistent in winning a championship (2013 Commissioner’s Cup under Luigi Trillo) and being in the finals (five times in the last 12 conferences), a true testament to the handiwork of management under Uytengsu.
The Lifetime Achievement honor is one of the 12 awards to be given out during the event presented by Cignal TV.
The awarding of the coveted Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan Coach of the Year serves as the highlight of the affair, which will also hand out the Danny Floro Executive of the Year, and the President’s Award (PBA board led by chairman Ricky Vargas).
Other awards include Scoring Champion (Stanley Pringle), Order of Merit (June Mar Fajardo, Paul Lee, and Vic Manuel), All-Interview Team (Yeng Guiao, Joe Devance, Chris Ross, Mike Digregorio, Christian Standhardinger, and Chris Tiu), and the All-Rookie Team (Jason Perkins, Jeron Teng, Paul Zamar, Robbie Herndon, and Standhardinger).
Completing the honor roll are Mr Quality Minutes (Manuel), Defensive Player of the Year (Poy Erram), Game of the Season (Barangay Ginebra-Rain or Shine 3OT), and Breakout Player of the Season (Tiu).