Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso is hoping that incoming big man Ben Adamos can fill the void left by the departure of Vic Manuel via trade and the retirement of Sonny Thoss.
The 6-foot-7 Adamos, who played college basketball for San Beda and Perpetual Help in the NCAA, was taken in by the Aces with the 6th overall pick in the recently concluded PBA Season 46 Draft.
“Ben will fill in a little of that void vacated by both Sonny and Vic. He has the skills to do so. Of course, there’s a need to adjust and get comfortable but we are confident in the player he will turn out to be,” said Cariaso during an interview with ESPN5.
Helping out Cariaso in developing the team’s frontcourt players is PBA Great and team deputy Danny Ildefonso.
The 44-year old Ildefonso, a 2-time PBA MVP and 8-time PBA champion with the San Miguel Beermen, is largely credited for the development of June Mar Fajardo and is now tasked with recreating the same training environment for Adamos.
Asked if Adamos can hold his ground against the 6-time PBA MVP, Cariaso refused to put undue pressure on the 25-year old rookie.
“I think stopping June Mar will be different for anyone. I feel Ben will grow physically and mentally as he develops. Danny I will play a big role in that,” explained the 1st round pick of Alaska in the 1995 rookie draft.
“He already has the skills set so now it’s really about how bad he’s willing to be the best player he can be and willingness to work,” he added.