Altamirano excited to rejoin Alaska in PBA
(philstar.com) - November 9, 2017 - 2:20am

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-eight years after he last donned their jersey, Eric Altamirano is returning to the Alaska Aces.

Altamirano, who played the point guard position during his student-athlete days with San Beda and the University of the Philippines, was drafted fifth overall during the 1988 PBA Rookie Draft by Great Taste. He, however, opted to stay in the amateurs with Philips Sardines (with Benjie Paras, Jun Reyes, Alfrancis Chua among others as teammates under Joe Lipa) in the now defunct Philippine Amateur Basketball League.

A year later, he joined Alaska as a free agent first under coach Bogs Adornado and then under Tim Cone in his first year with the Milkmen, as the team was nicknamed back then.

Today, this time as an assistant coach to Alex Compton following the departure of longtime assistants Louie Alas and Topex Robinson to Phoenix, Altamirano is back with the Aces.

“First of all, I am honored to be a part of the Alaska organization,” said Altamirano. “This is where I started my professional career. I was asked by Alex if I can be a part of his coaching staff since Louie and Topex left. Alex is more than a friend and I would gladly serve him in any way I can.”

Both Compton and Altamirano conceptualized and put up the vastly successful SM-National Basketball Training Center, which not only provides a nationwide basketball tournament for high school students but also organizes coaches’ conventions for young and budding coaches throughout the country. The SM-NBTC just concluded its sixth MVP Sports Foundation Coaches Convention last Wednesday, July 8 with over 1,500 participants.

“I’m excited to be back in the PBA and am looking to learn from Alex and work with the other coaches.”

Altamirano’s return to Alaska also reunites him with his former assistant Paolo Layug, who worked with him over at National University from 2011-2016.

Altamirano won two championships as a head coach in the PBA — the first during the 1997 All-Filipino Conference as head coach of Purefoods where they took down Gordon’s Gin in six matches, and the second during the 1998 Centennial Cup where he guided Mobiline (now Talk ‘N Text) to its first title.

Incidentally, after Altamirano’s two-year stint with Alaska, he was traded to Pepsi, which later became Mobiline after the franchise’s acquisition by the Pilipino Telephone Corporation in 1996.

In 2014, he guided National University to its first UAAP Men’s Basketball Championship since 1955. Most recently, Altamirano coached the Flying V Thunder to a semifinals berth in the D-League Foundation Cup. 

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