DIGOS City - Looking to strike the right balance, Luigi Trillo said he wants to put on a strong showing against Gilas Pilipinas without burning out some of the players in his PBA All-Star selection who are also seeing action in the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
Making his first-ever coaching stint in the Annual All-Star Game, Trillo has in his roster five players who are currently in the midst of the playoffs, namely Barangay Ginebra’s Chris Ellis, James Yap of San Mig Coffee, and his own Alaska stalwarts Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio, and rookie Calvin Abueva.
“I’m not gonna overwork them (players who are playing in the semis), but then we have to realize we have a responsibility to the fans,” Trillo told Spin.ph.
“I’ll use them not the way you would want them to play (heavy minutes) but just for them to be able to entertain the fans,” added the young coach, who’ll be flying in on Sunday morning to join the rest of the All-Star delegation.
At the same time, the 37-year-old Alaska mentor said he felt honored to coach his first All-Star Game, even if the timing seems a little bit off since the midseason tournament is at a crucial stretch of the playoffs.
“I’m happy to be able to do this (coach in the All-Star Game). I understand that all teams are making sacrifices anyway even though we’re now playing in the semifinals,” said Trillo, whose Aces leveled their semifinal series with San Mig Coffee at 1-1 last Sunday following an 86-67 victory in Game Two.
Gilas Pilipinas, handled by Chot Reyes, is using Sunday’s game as part of its continuing buildup for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship, which Manila is hosting on August 1-11 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.