Each year, the Aces cancel a day of practice to express their gratitude towards their most loyal sixth men on the floor – the fans. Last weekend, hundreds of Alaska Aces die-hards stormed the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong last Saturday to meet their hoop idols.
The event saw the entire Aces team including coaches, players, and staff, interact with the fans through shootouts, games, and other fun activities.
The Aces, who are currently ranked third in the 2018 PBA Governor’s Cup (3-1), have seen plenty ups and downs in the recent years. But Aces head coach Alex Compton told PlayPH that their fans are a huge part of their motivation each time they play.
“Alaska’s had great fans since before I even arrived in the Philippines,” says Compton. “I remember being impressed by the entire Alaska team and their support group in 1998 when I first got here. It’s always hard for us coaches to cancel practice, but today is our turn to put something on and say thank you to our fans.”
“Not everyone has the luxury of time. But these guys [fans] sacrifice huge chunks of their day just to cheer for us. When we win, they win. When we lose, they lose. We just really want to say thank you,” says the veteran coach.
It was all smiles throughout the afternoon at the Gatorade Hoops Center as fans got up close to the Aces. Towards the end, a special number performed by the Never Quit Squad gave them something more to cheer for. First year rookie Davon Potts went so far as to surprise everyone with a live performance of one of his hip-hop singles!
With the 2017-18 season nearing its end, one thing is for sure – the Aces fans are in it to win it when it comes to giving the team an extra boost. As longtime fan Ley Santiago describes, “Intact talaga ang suporta namin sa Alaska. Naniniwala kami sa kanila, sa team, sa management kahit anong mangyari. Manalo o matalo man, solid fans pa rin!”
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