AFTER winning his maiden championship as a coach last season, the last thing Luigi Trillo wants is for his Alaska Aces to be labelled a one-hit wonder.
“As a coach, you don’t want to be a one-time thing. As a team, you don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. You want to prove that you just don’t win one,” Trillo told Spin.ph on Sunday.
The in-form Aces ended their stint in the PBA Commissioner's Cup eliminations with an 85-66 rout of San Mig - their fifth win in a row - yet he sees the Mixers' success under Tim Cone as something his team can try to emulate.
“You look at coach Tim (Cone) and San Mig Coffee, they’ve won three of the last five. That’s where you want to get to. You look at the way they did that, it’s special for them,” Trillo said.
Trillo, however, concedes the road to a championship will be much tougher than last year, when the Aces went on an early run then swept Barangay Ginebra in the best-of-five finals.
Most of the title contenders, he said, have become even stronger.
“It’s very different this year. When we did that (win a championship last year), Ginebra still didn’t have (Greg) Slaughter and (Japeth) Aguilar together. This year, San Mig has a (James) Mays and Ian Sangalang and Justin Melton to help out,” he said.
“We understand that teams are stronger now and we just have to realize that and focus,” added Trillo.
But the youthful coach said Alaska is motivated to prove that the team's maiden championship in the post-Cone era was not a fluke.
“When you win one, there’s always a question mark there. You win a couple, then it’s very different. That’s the opinion of the people you have to respect. It is what it is,” said the Alaska coach.
“It’s always harder the second time around. It’s really harder, but we are excited now. We want to be excited because we have an opportunity. We just want to stay humble and understand it’s gonna be harder.”