MOST coaches who endured miserable campaigns right on their debut seasons don’t last another day on the job.
At Alaska, interim coach Luigi Trillo is given a fresh deal.
Putting emphasis on what he termed as “team values,” team owner Wilfred Uytengsu signed Trillo to a new two-year contract and promoted him as the full-pledged head coach of Alaska’s PBA ballclub.
“We wanted to find a coach who has the same values that we have at Alaska and Luigi, having been an assistant coach [with the team] for 13 years, understands and lives these values,” said Uytengsu.
Trillo had gone 2-7 after taking over from Joel Banal as Alaska finished ninth in the Governors Cup, a forgettable end to a miserable campaign that saw the Aces go 11-24 (win-loss) for the proud franchise’s first losing season in 19 years.
That is a big letdown for the Aces, the second most successful club in the pro league with 13 titles including a grand slam in 1996.
Uytengsu, however, has kept faith with Trillo, confident that the young coach is the right man to lead a renaissance for the team.
“He needs a bit of time to get the team settled and we all realize that we need a lot of hard work to return to our winning tradition,” said Uytengsu.
“One thing for sure is that we have a competitive team and we just need to live up to our potential.”
Given a new lease on life, Trillo has vowed to make things better.
"Last conference was part of the process of getting better,' he said. "I'm a firm believer in enduring with the right people and we have that in the Alaska Aces."
Uytengsu admitted that Alaska interviewed several prospective coaches before signing Trillo to a new deal. Some of those candidates – like Louie Alas and Leo Austria – are expected to come on board as assistant coaches.
“We did interview a few other coaches but felt that what we needed to do was to reinforce our values and that is something that isn’t learned overnight. Nevertheless, we hold the other candidates in high regard,” Uytengsu said.
Uytengsu said Joaqui Trillo, Alaska team manager and representative to the board and Luigi’s father, inhibited himself from the selection process.