THE Alaska Aces treated it as nothing but an ordinary game in their PBA Philippine Cup itinerary.
From the coaching staff down to the players, just about everybody didn’t put any color in the game against Meralco on Friday night that marked the first time the Aces encountered former coach Luigi Trillo.
As if on cue, the Aces played like a well-oiled machine right before the eyes of Trillo – now with the Bolts as deputy to coach Norman Black – as they went about and tore down Meralco, 105-64, for the most lopsided win registered by any team in the young season.
Alex Compton, who succeeded Trillo at the Alaska helm, played down the first meeting between Trillo and his former team, saying there was absolutely no animosity between the two parties.
“We shook hands and he told me ‘good job’, “ Compton said when asked if the two exchanged short chats at midcourt during the customary shaking of hands between the two teams after the game.
“He’s a dear friend and I stood as a godfather to one of his children,” added the Alaska coach.
Veteran shooting guard Dondon Hontiveros, who played key role when Alaska won the Commissioner’s Cup title under Trillo two years ago, also said the team has nothing against the former Coach of the Year, who was fired by the franchise just before last year’s Governors Cup following rumors he no longer enjoyed the trust of his players.
“Nagkataon lang siguro na maganda `yung laro ng team na Meralco ang kalaban namin,” said Hontiveros, who finished as Alaska’s second top scorer against Meralco with 16 points.
“Ok naman ang mga players and si coach Luigi,” added the long-time gunner from Cebu, who also hugged Trillo shortly after the game.
Alaska assistant coach Louie Alas stressed the incident has long been water under the bridge for both parties.
“I think naka move on na rin naman lahat, kaya no big deal na tinalo namin sila ng ganito kalaki,” he said.
Alas also disclosed he and Trillo have always kept in touch even if the two of them are no longer working together under one team.
“From time to time, nagtatawagan naman kami ni coach. Kamustahan. So `yung friendship na maintain din naman. And ganoon din naman sa kaso niya (Trillo) with Alaska,” said Alas.