NOW it can be told. Even before former Alaska coach Luigi Trillo agreed to join Meralco, he was already being eyed by no less than San Miguel Beer.
A source told Spin.ph that San Miguel management tried to sign the one-time Coach of the Year, initially as assistant to de facto coach John Todd Purves, who has been under the gun following another underachieving season for the star-studded Beermen.
“Nag-u-usap sila. The plan was to ask Luigi to help out Todd (Purves), who might be in his last conference as coach ng team,” said a team insider who asked not to be identified.
“Depende sa management 'yun pero Luigi might be elevated to the head coaching job kapag walang nangyari kay Todd, na mukhang ganun nga ang mangyayari,” he added.
The same insider also bared that San Miguel officials talked to Trillo before taking in Leo Austria, who is reportedly on the list of choices for the team’s next head coach.
However, sources said Trillo didn't like the idea of acting as assistant to a coach who is on the firing line.
“Mabait kasi si Luigi. Ayaw nya `yung lalabas na nanaksak siya ng likod ng coach niya. He wants to be an assistant kung assistant lang. Coach kung coach,” said the insider.
Also making a bid for Trillo, sources said, was Globalport, which wanted the former Alaska coach to get on board as an assistant to Pido Jarencio, who has yet to get the Batang Pier past the playoffs in two conferences at the helm.
The same source revealed the heartbreaking ordeal Trillo had to go through in his final conference with Alaska, where he was sacked early in the Aces' campaign in the season-ending Governors cup.
“He didn’t resign. The report you released before was true. He was a victim of ‘internal politics.’ Luigi was noble enough not to talk anymore about it. He just kept the pain to himself,” the source said of the son of longtime Alaska manager and governor Joaqui Trillo.
“Yun ang nakakalungkot sa nangyari sa kanya, remember how his dad served Alaska with loyalty. Pero it’s water under the bridge now,” he added.
Spin.ph tried to get the side of Trillo about the matter, but the champion coach declined, saying he only wanted to talk about his upcoming stint with Meralco.
“Let’s just talk about Meralco,” said Trillo in a text message.
“Will help coach Norman in any way he sees fit. Coach Norman will be back in two weeks. Will wait for him,” he said while obviously sounding thrilled at the resumption of his aborted colorful coaching career.
“I am just happy to be back! Coaching is my first love.”