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Aces tap Altamirano, Ildefonso, Dela Cruz as assistant coaches

Eric Altamirano, Danny Ildefonso and Tony dela Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — The Alaska Aces have announced the hiring of new personalities as part of their coaching staff.

The Fred Uytengsu-owned franchise will be utilizing the services of Eric Altamirano, Danny Ildefonso and Tony dela Cruz, head coach Alex Compton revealed Tuesday afternoon.

"I am really excited about the new coaches we have added to our coaching staff,” Compton cascaded through a text message.

"Coach Eric is a proven winner at every single level … Dela Cruz has always been one of the smartest players in the PBA … Ildefonso is both one of the best players to ever have played in the [league],” he added.

Altamirano, who had been in the coaching circuit for quite some time, has led multiple national teams to triumphant outings and the National University to its first title in 60 years. The 51-year-old mentor also steered Mobiline and TNT to PBA titles.

“Alaska gets a veteran coach with tremendous experience and character in Coach Eric, truly a man of excellence,” Compton said.

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As if finally addressing their height woes, the Aces are also looking to maximize Dela Cruz and Ildefonso’s prowess at the post.

Dela Cruz, a direct-hire talent out of UC Irvine in 1999, is a longtime Alaska cager. He has won three titles with the Aces and was named to four All-Star teams.

“He knows the ins and outs of our system,” Compton said of his former ward Dela Cruz. “He is an excellent communicator who has a great relationship with everyone.”

For his part, ldefonso is one of the best big men in PBA history. He snared eight titles in his illustrious career. As if that wasn't a feat commendable enough, the Pangasinan native is also one of the handful players to only win back-to-back Most Valuable Player citations.

“[Ildefonso] has detailed knowledge on how to play the game as a big man. He will surely have a tremendous impact on the development of our big men,” Compton continued.

The movements in Alaska’s coaching staff look to fill the void left by Louie Alas and Topex Robinson — both of whom have moved on to handle the Phoenix Fuelmasters. 

The Aces acquired former La Salle star Jeron Teng. He will be joined by a fellow collegiate winner in Davon Potts of San Beda.

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