Alaska Aces is a professional basketball team in the Philippines, established since 1986 by the Alaska Milk Corporation & one of the few teams with the most championships in the PBA league. I don’t play basketball nor be even good at it, but this sport transcended my understanding about basketball, it is indeed more than a physical game, but rather a team game and discipline.
To be honest, I never thought I would be fond of basketball. In a country where it is a dominated sports by men, I am mistaken to assume that it is limited only to male species, as there are several women out there who are also into basketball, moreover, are also Alaska fans. I’ve been a fan of the Aces since the mid 90s, but an on-and-off PBA viewer, though I never/do not intend to switch to any other teams. It almost felt that I have that Alaska bloodline.
Alaska Aces had been through a lot of changes over the years, they modified management, changed uniforms, changed team name (Milkmen to Aces), new coaching staff, (coach Alex Compton) they released former superstars, there are also rumors about Alaska being sold to other ball clubs. These changes did not move me nor think otherwise about the team. I can’t help to think why am I choosing Alaska over and over?
There are actually 3 major things why I keep on picking Alaska Aces among any popular teams in the PBA:
1. The Alaska Culture = With several changes from coaching staff to the players, there is only one thing that remains: Alaska culture. We regularly hear from sir Fred Uytengsu (ball club owner) that Alaska is after Discipline, Integrity and Pride, and all of these contributed to the success of the franchise. It is being passed from the management, to the players, to the staff, and even to the long time PBA fans. (I am not talking about the bandwagons, you can easily identify them from the real “Gatas Republik”)
2. Commitment to the fans = Alaska may not have the most fans in terms of numbers, but I am proud to say that Alaska Aces has the most organized social interactions. It is the fans that keep them going, & they give back by communicating through social media. They have a way to deliver messages, to clarify issues, to inform, and if necessary, to educate the fans about the Alaska team developments. It is the kind of team commitment that Alaska decided on giving to the fans, something I could not missed.
3. They know how to Win and what drives to win = With 14 championships on hand, they are not contented, it is the kind of initiative that is being passed from players to the new ones. It is that winning tradition instilled on the Alaska organization that makes them successful and drive for more success in the future. We popularized the term “bounce back” because we give special meaning on it. Winners do not simply give up, they are motivated enough to keep going. They give pride in being underdogs to large ball clubs, they simply have the passion to win.
Under the management of coach Alex Compton, we know we are in good hands, we know we will come strong and that we will continue playing with all our hearts. We will go back to who we are, as hard workers, as winners, winning as a family, as one entity. It is off season, I miss watching them play, it feels like my day is longer than 24 hours, it is boring without Alaska basketball action. I know that next season, Alaska will be ready & all Gatas Republik are looking forward for that.
With that in mind, I know I will die an Alaska Aces follower.