The Alaska Aces finally signed incoming rookies Ben Adamos and Fil-American guard Taylor Browne to separate two-year deals, just over a week after the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft.
Aces team governor Dickie Bachmann confirmed the deal to ESPN5 on Tuesday.
Adamos, the 6-foot-7 big man out of San Beda and Perpetual Help, was selected sixth overall by the Aces in this year's rookie draft.
He will try to fill in huge shoes vacated by veteran slotman Sonny Thoss, who has already retired after playing for 15 seasons in the pro league.
Adamos, one of the coveted big men in the rookie pool, is fortunate to have Alaska assistant coach Danny Ildefonso at his side. lldefonso is best remembered for tutoring a young June Mar Fajardo during their brief stint together at San Miguel Beer.
Bachmann wouldn't want to put the pressure on Adamos, but he believes the incoming rookie center will have to step on the plate, now that Thoss has retired and the Aces have traded Vic Manuel to Phoenix this offseason.
"At the top of my head, since Sonny is retired and Vic asked to be traded, we needed to secure a big so we can compete with other PBA teams' bigs," explained Bachmann.
Meanwhile, Bachmann is confident that Browne can provide additional defensive presence and outside scoring threat for the Aces.
While Alaska is loaded at the guard spot, Bachman said it is "hard to pass up on a talented player," in Browne, who played college basketball for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in Canada.
Browne was picked 16th overall by Alaska.
"Taylor is another shooter we need just in case they clog the lanes to the basket," he added.
Bachmann said they are also set to meet and discuss the rookie contracts of another Fil-Am guard Alec Stockton, whom the Aces selected in the second round, as well as RK Ilagan (third-round draftee) this week.
The dilemma for the Aces is who they will eventually retain since based on PBA rules, each team is only allowed to have a total of five Fil-foreign players.
With the addition of Browne, Alaska currently has five Fil-foreign players. The other four include guards Maverick Ahanmisi, Mike DiGregorio, and Robert Herndon and newly-acquired free agent center Yousef Taha.
Once Alaska signs up Stockton, he will be the sixth Fil-foreign player for the Aces.
Bachmnan said they are aware of the situation, but he is leaving the decision up to Cariaso.
"I will leave it up to coach Jeff to handle on the Fil-Am situation. But you can count on our players battling in practice for a spot in the lineup," he said.