Alaska cites Petron, Ginebra as tough foes-A A +A
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
ALASKA head coach Luigi Trillo sees a tough road ahead when the Aces start their title retention bid in the 39th PBA Commissioner’s Cup on March 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alaska, which completed a three-game sweep to win the 77th Cebu City Charter Day Cup, will open its title retention bid against Talk ‘N Text. The Texters were also one of the three teams that joined the pre-conference tournament.
“It’s going to be tougher because of players like June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter and the wheeling-and-dealings in the league. But we will try our best to keep the title. But it needs a lot of work,” Trillo told Sun.Star Cebu.
Playing in the pocket tournament gave the Aces some insights on their first two opponents.
“Sunod-sunod yun. First we will play Talk ‘N Text and then GlobalPort is next, sulit yung pagpunta namin dito,” said Trillo.
Alaska defeated GlobalPort, 87-79, last Feb. 21 at the Cebu Coliseum and beat Talk ‘N Text, 79-70, in an action-packed match last Feb. 22 in Mandaue City.
Alaska, one of the most popular PBA teams in Cebu, is parading best import awardee Robert Dozier, who led the Aces to their titular finish last year. The Aces swept the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the best of five finals.
“Last year, we didn’t have any problem with the big guys, but with the vast improvement of Fajardo and the coming of Slaughter, it gets even tougher,” Trillo said.
Alaska has won 14 PBA titles, including three Commissioner’s Cups. Trillo assumed the coaching job in April 2012 after Joel Banal stepped aside.
Last year, Alaska also played the Petron Blaze Boosters and Ginebra Kings on their way to win the Sinulog Cup 2013, which was also a pre-conference tournament for the Commissioner’s Cup.
“It’s always good to play in Cebu. The players always play their best here. And we are looking to coming back here more often, whether it’s a regular season game or a pre-season tournament, just like this,” Trillo said.
Trillo got his first coaching job as assistant to Tonichi Yturri with the Cebu Gems in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association MBA.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2014.