Cariaso, Converge part ways

Photograph by Rio deluvio for the daily tribune JEFF Cariaso gets the boot after just one conference with Converge.

Jeff Cariaso formally parted ways with Converge after a lone conference in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

In a social media post, the 49-year-old tactician confirmed that he had been let go by the FiberXers management just a conference since joining the league.

Cariaso said it was team owner Dennis Anthony Uy who personally broke the news in a meeting on Monday.

“It is with utmost respect that I accept the decision of the Converge management to relieve me as the head coach of the FiberXers,” Cariaso said.

“I had a meeting yesterday with the owner, Sir Dennis Uy, who personally shared the news.”

Another source said former University of Santo Tomas mentor Aldin Ayo will be tapped as replacement.

Ayo, after all, had just resigned as head trainer of Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Pilipinas, making him available to make his coaching debut in the PBA.

The 49-year-old Cariaso has been a mainstay in the bench since getting hired by Alaska in 2015.

He formally took the coaching saddle when former Aces mentor Alex Compton stepped down in 2019.

When Converge bought the Alaska franchise in March, Cariaso was retained together with key pieces like Jeron Teng, Maverick Ahanmisi, Allyn Bulanadi and RK Ilagan.

He had the chance to rebuild the franchise by acquiring young big men in Justin Arana, Jeo Ambohot, Tyrus Hill and Kurt Lojera in the 2022 Annual Rookie Draft, raising expectations that the squad could be the dark horse in the season-opening conference.

But it didn’t happen.

Although the franchise showed a lot of promise, it still struggled in its maiden season as it finished seventh with a 5-6 win-loss record.

The FiberXers failed to make it past the quarterfinals as reigning champion TNT Tropang Giga crushed them, 116-95, in their playoff encounter on 27 July.

“Changes like this come with the blessing of a head coach. I am thankful for the added experience, learnings, and most especially the friendships,” Cariaso said.

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