'Inspired' Alaska one of the teams to beat in Philippine Cup, says former coach Trillo
Former Alaska coach Luigi Trillo greet Aces players and staff at midcourt at the end of the game. Jerome Ascano

IT was a bittersweet reunion for Luigi Trillo.

The Meralco assistant coach met with his former team, Alaska, for the first time and it resulted in a humiliating 105-64 loss for the Bolts in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Despite the defeat, Trillo could not help but remember the memories in the 15 years he was with Alaska.

“It was just awkward for me,” he told a handful of waiting scribes outside their dugout. “So many fond memories there. I made a lot of relationships over there, so it was all surreal when you think about it.”

But the match was not worth remembering after the Bolts suffered the most lopsided defeat in the league since Alaska, coincidentally, lost to Rain or Shine, 123-72, in the last Governors’ Cup.

“You want to treat it like any other game, but obviously this is something for us to learn from,” Trillo said.

After Calvin Abueva and Jvee Casio spearheaded the squad in the first two games, shock trooper Vic Manuel and veteran Dondon Hontiveros led from the front this time, providing the spark off the bench that paved the way for the blowout.

“Kudos to coach Alex (Compton) and the whole coaching staff, and everybody,” he was quick to add. “It wasn’t just Calvin or Jvee; it was the whole team.”

Trillo believe the league-leading Aces are one of the teams to beat in the All-Filipino conference.

“They’re really playing championship, high-level basketball and I think they’re one of the favorites,” he said. “And it’s not because they have the depth. I just think they’re playing really inspired, team basketball.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos