MANILA, Philippines – The commitment of Alaska Milk Corp. to the Aces has not waned even as a new controlling shareholder takes over the company.
Alaska is preparing to exit the Philippine stock market as Royal FrieslandCampina moves to further increase its stake in the company, reaffirmed its commitment to the PBA.
In fact, what Alaska may have found in the Dutch dairy giant was a perfect partner, which shares the company’s love for sports.
“There was talk about that [the Alaska Aces], but we’re very much committed to the Aces. That’s very near and dear to my heart personally and I want to win our 14th PBA championship,” said Alaska team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr.
The Alaska franchise have won 13 PBA titles, including an elusive Grand Slam in 1996 under Tim Cone, who recently bagged his first championship with B-MEG in the recently concluded 2012 Commissioner’s Cup.
After ending a 22-year partnership with Cone, Alaska struggled as it suffered its worst finish in an all-Filipino conference — a ninth place finish in the Philippine Cup — but improved its standing to fifth in the Commissioner’s Cup.
The Aces are also looking at a fresh start with the appointment of Luigi Trillo as Alaska interim coach to replace Joel Banal.
Apart from the Aces, Alaska is also making a bigger commitment to youth sports development. PBA legend Jojo Lastimosa has left the Aces coaching staff to oversee the nationwide expansion of the company’s youth basketball program.
“They [FrieslandCampina] are quite excited in being involved with that. They support not just the Alaska Aces, but Alaska Milk’s commitment to youth and sports development whether that’s the PBA, the Alaska Power Camp, Alaska Football Camp, Alaska Iron Kids. They see the building and the equity we have built with our association with sports,” Uytengsu said.
Uytengsu will keep his post as president and chief executive officer of the Philippines’ biggest milk company and, while he’s still in the business, Alaska and sports will be inseparable.
“Management control is with us and for as long as I’m involved running the business, I see that [sports] as very strategic to us,” said Uytengsu.
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