Calvin Abueva's 'nganga' gesture against Meralco angers Luigi Trillo: 'He's turning out to be a jerk'
Former Alaska coach and now Meralco assistant Luigi Trillo shouts something at Calvin Abueva late in the Aces' double-overtime win over the Bolts on Tuesday. Jerome Ascano

CALVIN Abueva’s endgame antics against Meralco has caught the ire of Bolts assistant coach Luigi Trillo, who said the controversial Alaska forward is “turning out to be a jerk."

Trillo, the man responsible for selecting the 6-foot-1 Abueva second overall during the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft back when he was calling the shots for Alaska, rued that his former player’s 'nganga' gesture done in front of the Meralco bench left a bad taste in the mouth.

Trillo was caught by photographer Jerome Ascano shouting something to Abueva after the incident.

“I’ve always said before (when I was still coaching Alaska) that you don’t showboat, especially in the end, when you win,” Trillo, now a deputy coach at Meralco, said when reached by for comment on Wednesday.

“When you win, you win in good taste. You don’t wanna further rub salt into the wound,” he added. “He’s (Abueva) turning out to be a jerk, because the things he does, the taunting of the players, I’m not for it.”

[See Import-less Alaska grinds out double-OT win over Meralco as Abueva holds fort]

The 27-year-old Abueva made the 'nganga' gesture shortly after scoring on a layup to give the Aces a 103-99 lead with 57 seconds to go in the second overtime.

The Aces went on to hold off the Bolts, 108-103 to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Other than the 'nganga' gesture, Abueva’s decision to stay near the Meralco bench during a Bolts timeout also angered coach Norman Black.

“I think this happened during the first overtime. Calvin was just standing near the bench and coach Norman was talking (during the timeout). I saw the whole thing,” recalled the 39-year-old assistant coach.

“When I saw him standing, I kind of called his attention after doing the ‘nganga’ move. It’s (done) in bad taste. But that’s Calvin being Calvin,” he said. 

“Do I approve of what he’s doing? No, I don’t think so. It’s a reflection of him and the team he may be playing for.”

Trillo maintained that Abueva has always been a known competitor since his NCAA days with the San Sebastian Stags, but said 'The Beast' runs the risk of losing 'admirers' because of his antics.

“I don’t think it’s (Abueva’s antics) bringing fans into the league. Calvin has to remember he’ll be playing (in the PBA) for a long time,” said Trillo, who won a PBA championship during Abueva's rookie year with Alaska in 2013.


“Sayang, because he’s a good player. He can focus on playing the game and I think he’ll win more fans that way, but he lost a lot of admirers from the things he’s doing.”

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