Luigi Trillo was named coach of the year by the PBA Press Corps last night for steering Alaska Milk to the Commissioner’s Cup championship on his rookie year.
Trillo beat Philippine Cup winner Norman Black of Talk ‘N Text and Governors Cup champion Tim Cone.
Recalling his difficult past, Trillo said winning the award was the culmination of the hard work he put into the job after coming from the college circuit where he never had an enviable record.
He said the trust and confidence given him by Alaska management led by Fred Uytengsu also inspired him and his team to do the best they can.
“Those were very dark years. You can say I learned the ropes the hard way,” said Trillo, who coached Adamson before being tapped by Alaska.
“It is just an honor for me and my family to even be mentioned in the same breath as coach Norman and coach Tim,” said Trillo.
“This award is also indicative of the great team that we have at Alaska, from Fred (Uytengsu, the team owner) who has molded me into the coach that I am, to my coaching staff, the players and everyone else,” Trillo said.
The press corps also handed Team PBA the executive of the year award, citing the over R200 million the league earned at the gate last season, a new record.
Past chairman Robert Non of Barangay Ginebra and commissioner Chito Salud received the trophy named after the late Crispa team manager Danny Floro.
Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee was the MyPhone Defensive Player of the Year, receiving his trophy from Patrick Adrianne Cabusay, the marketing communications officer of Myphone, while Gary David, who was with Globalport last season, was the Scoring Champ for the second straight year. He scored 582 points in 31 games for an average of 18.77 points per game.
Other awardees were Marcio Lassiter of Petron Blaze, Comeback Player of the Year and Jervy Cruz of Rain or Shine Mr. Quality Minutes.
Nmes to All-Rookie team were Chris Tiu of Rain or Shine, Alex Mallari of San Mig, Cliff Hodge of Meralco, June Mar Fajardo of Petron and Calvin Abueva of Alaska.
Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio won the Accel Order of Merit award for most number of Player of the Week citations with three.