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    With no plan to tinker with lineup, Aces' Trillo looking to trade first-round pick

    Oct 14, 2013
    Alaska has one first-round pick, but coach Luigi Trillo believes the Aces can do without it. Jerome Ascano

    ALASKA is open to trading its first-round pick in the coming draft for a future pick, as coach Luigi Trillo remains confident he does not need to infuse young blood into the Aces for at least one more year.

    The Aces own the eighth pick in the first round for the PBA Rookie Draft set November 3 at Robinson’s Place Malate and while the team has four players aged at least 36 and could use a boost from young cagers, Trillo believes the team can put off changes to its lineup for a while.

    With the core of starters led by Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP Sonny Thoss, Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio and this year's No. 2 draft pick overall Calvin Abueva returning for the 2013-14 season which kicks off on November 17, Trillo is confident of another solid campaign for the Aces.

    Nic Belasco is turning 40 this December, while Tony dela Cruz, Dondon Hontiveros and Eddie Laure are all 36 but they continue to deliver as role players, Trillo said.

    “We wanted to keep the core because again, we want them (Aces) to be part of what we are doing. We want players who play according to the team’s core values,” Trillo told just before Alaska’s Monday afternoon practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.

    “I’ll be open to trading this pick (first round) for future picks,” explained Trillo.

    Still, the Alaska mentor said they are carefully looking at the draft pool, where marquee big men Greg Slaughter, Ian Sangalang and Raymund Almazan are expected to figure as the top three picks.

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    Other potential first rounders include Ateneo’s backup big man Justin Chua and Nicolas Salva, former University of Santo Tomas guard Jeric Fortuna, and possibly Fil-foreign players like Isaac Holstein and James Forrester of Arellano University.

    “There are two ways you can go for the draft - you draft the player that fits your need or you just simply pick the best available talent,” he said.

    The Aces are coming off an early playoff exit, losing to current Governors Cup Finalist San Mig Coffee Mixers in their knockout quarterfinal game.

    Still, Trillo said he’s satisfied with the way the Aces have performed this season after winning the Commissioner’s Cup title and pushing eventual Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text to six games in their Philippine Cup semifinal series.

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    Alaska has one first-round pick, but coach Luigi Trillo believes the Aces can do without it. Jerome Ascano
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