Alaska out to boost front­line

Tempo - - Sports - By TITO S. TALAO

LOS AN­GE­LES – Trades and free agency not be­ing im­me­di­ate op­tions for them to ac­quire big men, the Alaska Aces are look­ing to shore up their un­der­sized front­line from within.

Aces team man­ager Dickie Bach­mann, the in­com­ing PBA vice chair­man, said Mon­day here that they will be fo­cus­ing on in­di­vid­ual skills train­ing for 6-foot-9 Sonny Thoss, 6-foot-5 Noy Ba­clao and their post play­ers to work on ways to off­set their heft and height deficit when fac­ing op­po­nents with big, dom­i­nant cen­ters and power for­wards.

“That’s our weak­ness,” said Bach­mann be­fore the PBA del­e­ga­tion took a bus to Sta­ples Cen­ter in down­town LA to at­tend an NBA game be­tween the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers and the Philadel­phia 76ers.

Bach­mann had ar­ranged the side trip to al­low league gov­er­nors and the PBA’s mar­ket­ing peo­ple to watch live an NBA game and ob­serve up close venue en­ter­tain­ment ac­tiv­i­ties un­der a Hol­ly­wood at­mos­phere.

“Hope­fully we can see some­thing there that we could pos­si­bly do in the PBA dur­ing time­outs, half­time and be­tween games,” said Bach­mann. “That way watch­ing games live will be dif­fer­ent from watch­ing them on TV.”

The de­par­ture of as­sis­tant coach Louie Alas to take over the head coach­ing job at Phoenix Fuel, bring­ing with him an­other Aces as­sis­tant Topex Robin­son, men­tor of the Lyceum Pi­rates in the NCAA, Bach­mann said, left a void in the coach­ing staff of Alex Comp­ton that was quickly filled by Jef­frey Cari­aso, the re­tired Tony dela Cruz and the re­cent hir­ing of Eric Al­tami­rano and multi-MVP win­ner Danny Ilde­fonso.

Ilde­fonso was brought in specif­i­cally to share decades of “lift the roof” ex­pe­ri­ence with San Miguel Beer to the Aces front­lin­ers, a job, Bach­mann said, that could en­tail send­ing lde­fonso and Dela Cruz next year to the States, in Las Ve­gas per­haps, to at­tend a big man’s camp.

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