Alaska Aces clean, repaint classrooms for Legazpi City’s ‘Brigada Eskwela’

By Connie B. Destura LEGAZPI CITY --- Players of the Alaska Aces, one of the leading teams in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), including its head coach and assistant coaches, went Friday morning last week to Bagumbayan Central School here and joined the “Brigada Eskwela” to clean and repaint classrooms. “We’ve been blessed and this is our way of giving something back to the fans and to the community,” said head coach Alex Compton whose team came a day before Alaska’s match with Talk N Text Ka Tropa at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation here. Alaska players Chris Banchero, Simon Enciso, Yutien Andrada, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Racal, Jaypee Mendoza, and Marion Magat, along with assistant coach Franco Atienza and other coaching staff helped Compton in completing the cleaning tasks. While the cleanup was being held, other Alaska team members conducted a basketball clinic dubbed “mini-power camp” at the school grounds. Alaska center Sonny Thoss, team captain Jayvee Casio and shooters Tony Dela Cruz and Dondon Hontiveros joined coaches Louie Alas, Jeff Cariaso, Topex Robinson and Monch Gavieres in mentoring some 60 schoolchildren on the fundamentals of the sport. Import Cory Jefferson and the rest of the players -- Vic Manuel, Nonoy Baclao, Jake Pascual and Chris Exciminiano -- joined the basketball clinic. The Aces provided shirts for the participants, basketballs for the school and Alaska milk for the schoolchildren present. Alaska hotshot Calvin Abueva, who was part of the Gilas Pilipinas national team that bagged the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championship held in Manila recently, also arrived Friday morning to join his teammates. His teammates arrived a day earlier here on May 17 to meet with their fans and visited a local hospital as part of the corporate social responsibility of the team owned by Alaska Milk Corporation. Brigada Eskwela is an annual activity of the Department of Education (DepEd) wherein “voluntary troops or brigades” of parents, teachers, students and other members of the community organize a clean-up in public elementary and high schools nationwide to clean and maintain the school facilities weeks before the start of every school year. This year’s activity that began on May 15 carries the theme: “Isang DepEd, Isang Pamayanan, Isang Bayanihan Para Sa Handa At Ligtas Na Paaralan” (One DepEd, One Community, One Effort for Ready and Safe Schools). The TNT KaTropa eventually won the game versus Alaska Aces, 119-110, in the elimination round of the PBA Commisisoners’ Cup held here.