Luigi Trillo, the rookie coach who steered Alaska to the Commissioner’s Cup title in the last PBA Season, is up against Grand Slam winners Norman Black of Talk ‘N Text and San Mig Coffee’s Tim Cone for the PBA Press Corps’ Coach of the Year award.
Black, who had his Triple Crown sweep with San Miguel in 1989, piloted the Tropang Texters to a third straight conquest of the Philippine Cup, while Cone, who had his Grand Slam in 1996 with Alaska, guided the Mixers to the Governors’ Cup title.
The Coach of the Year award will be one of the highlights of the PBAPC’s “A Banquet of Heroes” program presented by Meralco at Wack Wack on Tuesday where the finest performers of the past PBA Season will be honored.
Also up for grabs in the program that starts at 7 p.m. at Banquet B is the Executive of the Year trophy where Team PBA, led by chair Robert Non, commissioner Chito Salud and Gilas-Pilipinas backer Manny V. Pangilinan of Talk ‘N Text, is the hot favorite.
Trillo, aside from winning a title in just his third full conference as coach, guided Alaska to the best winning percentage last season, according to chief PBA statistician and PBAPC member Fidel Mangonon III.
The .636 winning percentage of the Aces for their 35-20 record nipped Black’s Talk ‘N Text crew, which had .625 (35-21), and Alaska’s total victories was 24 more than what it had in 2012 for the franchise’s second biggest turnaround.
Cone’s Mixers finished with a 38-26 record for the year, for a .594 clip which was third-best in the league.
Also, Alaska’s 24-win improvement was the most by any team since Purefoods also posted the same in 2009, which, ultimately, gave Ryan Gregorio the Coach of the Year trophy.