AS far as he knows, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Alaska is here to stay in the league.
Reports have surfaced once again that Alaska, one of the pro league's oldest franchises, is about to leave the PBA after 35 years of success crowned by a historic grand slam back in 1996.
The Aces have not issued a statement about the matter and Marcial said he has no knowledge about it, only saying thatAlaska team governor Dickie Bachmann merely laughed it off when he spoke to him recently.
“Pitong taon ko nang naririnig na aalis ang Alaska sa PBA. Hindi nangyayari. Kausap ko si governor Dickie Bachmann, tinawanan lang ako,” Marcial said during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum via video conference.
Reports of the Alaska franchise being sold is no longer new. Recently, rumors have even tagged Chooks-to-Go as having interest in purchasing the fabled franchise.
But Marcial said Alaska hasn’t indicated anything about leaving the PBA, saying that Bachmann was even an active participant in the league’s recent board meeting.
“Sinasabi ko, as of now, sa pagkakaalam ko at kausap ko si governor Dickie Bachmann, wala. Hindi aalis ang Alaska sa PBA,” Marcial reiterated.
The Aces have been one of the most storied franchises in PBA history since their inception as Hills Brothers in 1986.
The Uytengsu franchise later released a statement to media outlets:
The team won the first of its 14 championships in the 1991 Third Conference, but their most famous title run came in 1996 when the Milkmen, coached by Tim Cone and starring Johnny Abarrientos, Jojo Lastimosa, and Bong Hawkins, became only the third team in PBA history to win a grand slam.
The Aces’ last crown came in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup with a team coached by Luigi Trillo and led by JVee Casio, Sonny Thoss, and Calvin Abueva.