ALASKA'S 30th anniversary party on Thursday night was quite a success, with personalities that helped turn the ballclub into one of the most successful in the PBA gathering in a night of nostalgia and celebration capped by the naming of the team's '30 Greatest Players.'
A day later, talk has inevitably shifted from those who were present to those who weren't there. There were quite a few.
Among the most prominent absentees were Tim Cone, who led the Uytengsu-owned franchise to its first 13 PBA championships including a grand slam in 1996, and Luigi Trillo, who was the coach in Alaska's last title run in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup.
Also not there was Luigi's father Joaqui, the Alaska team manager and governor for 25 years who oversaw those 14 title runs.
Sources said Cone wasn't invited to the event amid lingering animosity after the league's most successful coach resigned from the ballclub in 2011, only to join B-Meg (now Star) a few days later.
On the other hand, the Trillos, sources told Spin.ph, were extended invitations in the afternoon before the event and, slighted, decided not to go.
“They knew about the activity, father and son knew Alaska is celebrating its 30th year, same way they did in their silver anniversary. But they were only invited on the day itself,” said a person close to the Trillos.
Another source bared Alaska governor Dickie Bachmann and the team owner’s son Sean Uytengsu personally went to the house of the elder Trillo the afternoon before the party to extend the invitation.
Luigi, now an assistant coach at Meralco, learned about the event weeks before from former players who had been extended invitations by the organization. He, too, was invited at the 11th hour, sources added.
Like in the case of Cone, Trillo's departure from the organization wasn't in the best of terms, after he was fired in the face of turmoil that hit the team last season.
Other former Alaska players took to Twitter to express their feelings after not getting invitations to the event, among them Joe Devance and Don Allado.
On the other hand, Willie Miller, who won a championship and an MVP award during his time with Alaska, said he received an invitation weeks before but failed to attend because of practice with ABL team Pilipinas MX3 Kings.
“Matagal na nila akong inaya. Bago ko natanggap yung invitation two weeks ago, tinawagan na nila ko at sinabi na may ganung party nga raw. Matagal na yun,” said the two-time PBA MVP.
“Kaso nag-apologize nga ako dahil hindi ako nakapunta kasi naging 3-to-6 PM na ang ensayo namin sa ABL team ko noong araw na yun. Pero matagal na 'yung invitation ko,” he added.