ALASKA coach Luigi Trillo on Thursday played down the controversy stirred by Calvin Abueva's unauthorized stint in a small league in Bulacan on Monday night, saying what the sensational rookie did was "not a big thing."
Reacting to a story that came out on Spin.ph on Wednesday, Trillo said it has been a common practice not only in the PBA but also in the NBA for players to see action in minor leagues and pick-up games during the offseason.
“It’s (Abueva’s playing in another league) not a big thing for us. NBA players do that during the offseason when they play in Rucker Park to do their own thing,” Trillo said after Alaska’s practice at the Hoops Center.
“It’s not that we are mad at him. Yes, I did see the video but I think what he did was simply magnified because of Twitter, the video and the internet today," he added.
Trillo did not reveal if Abueva was punished or reprimanded by management, although league commissioner Chito Salud had already said he will summon the rookie to brief him on the league rules regarding 'moonlighting.'
But Trillo did say that he did warn Abueva about the danger of what he did. "Just to remind Calvin, that’s cement (cemented court). So he can get injured with that,” he said.
The youthful Alaska coach said he has complete trust in Abueva to expect he won’t do the same thing again, whether during the offseason or during season.
“I think it was a harmless thing for him. He just wanted to play, or I could be wrong and maybe he knows that. But I don’t think any player will do that during the season,” said Trillo.
However, Trillo stressed that should Abueva or any of his players compete in other leagues without the team's knowledge, they will surely deal with it without having to reveal the actions to the public.
“We’re more personal and we teach them (Alaska players) the right way. They are like family to me and we’re family here. We won't just discipline them in the press or punish them or say something against them. It’s not the way we do things,” said the 37-year-old Alaska mentor.