ALASKA is using its forgettable campaign in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup as rallying point when the Aces defend their Commissioner’s Cup title with import returnee Robert Dozier in tow.
With the team now refreshed by the brief conference break, Trillo said next week will be a good starting point to slowly build momentum heading to the mid-season conference.
“I think we have a lot of reasons to be better. And it would be a nice time for Robert Dozier to get acquainted,” Trillo told Spin.ph.
The 6-foot-9 Dozier is arriving on Saturday from the United States. The 28-year-old former Memphis Tiger finished the conference last year with impressive all-around numbers of 20.1 points, 17 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, and 2.5 assists in more than 42 minutes of play en route to bagging the Bobby Parks-Best Import trophy.
Trillo felt with an intact core led by veterans Sonny Thoss, Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio, and Dondon Hontiveros, chemistry won’t be much of an issue for the Aces.
“My mindset is to bring everybody back and with Robert coming back also, we’ll find ways to tweak things,” added the Alaska coach, whose team had a quick quarterfinal exit after losing to No. 1 seed Barangay Ginebra in their knockout game last month.
Overall, Trillo hopes the Aces will get better defensively, knowing the rest of the field is out to prevent them from repeating as champions.
The Aces captured the franchise’s first league title outside in the post-Tim Cone era when they completed a three-game sweep of the Kings in last season’s Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
Alaska finished the mid-season conference last year with an 18-4 (win-loss) record, the second best in franchise history.