IF you hear trade rumors involving Alaska players, these are most likely not true.
So declares head coach Luigi Trillo, who is bent on keeping intact the Aces team that ruled the last PBA Commissioner's Cup that he has ruled out any trades in the break between conferences.
“We are keeping this team intact. Yes you can already scratch us out from all those trade rumors,” Trillo told Spin.ph on Thursday evening before boarding a plane to Las Vegas.
“You know the rule, normally you change when you’re not doing well. That’s not the case for us,” he added.
Trillo, in fact, won't even dare accept changes in his coaching staff, expressing confidence that one of his top assistants, Louie Alas, would stay put despite a juicy offer from the San Miguel Corp. organization.
Trillo said Alaska management has already met with Alas in a bid to keep him.
“We already discussed it with (team owner) Mr (Wilfred) Uytengsu. He will think about the numbers and then he'll come up with that. He'll decide on things. But may verbal agreement na that that is his plan for us. I feel good about that,” said Trillo.
According to Trillo, the most the Uytengsu organization will do in the offseason is trade its top two picks in the PBA rookie draft for future draft choices, but that's about it.
"I think the most drastic move we can do is trade our our picks this year and next year,” said Trillo. “Kaya if there are teams interested in our picks, we can talk.”
Trillo and Alas will accompany a number of Aces players in a 10-day training camp in Las Vegas on July 5-15. Rookie Calvin Abueva leads the players who will undergo rigid training under well-known skills coach Joe Abunassar at the Impact Training center.
Abueva, however, will be limited to just strengthening and rehab drills as he recovers from a knee injury that was treated in Beijing last month.
Meanwhile, Uytengsu will personally preside over a ceremony in Los Angeles where the players will be awarded their championship rings commemorating their conquest of the last Commissioners’ Cup title.
Trillo said their Governors Cup import, Wendell McKines, will be on hand to witness the occasion.
“I want him to be there because I want him to see and experience it. I want him to get hungry,” said Trillo.
The Aces will be back in the country on July 23 just in time for Abueva, Cyrus Baguio and JV Casio to join a PBA selection in an exhibition game against the Gilas Pilipinas squad the following day at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“We will fly back ASAP so we can let them play there,” Trillo concluded.