The Alaska Aces will be re-coached again after just seven months.
That is, after Joel Banal, who was signed a three-year deal September 2011 to replace Tim Cone, resigned from the team, who had its worst finish in an all-Filipino conference. Aces finished ninth in the Philippine Cup, and fifth in the Commissioner's Cup.
"The goal of the Alaska franchise is to be in the semis of every conference and we did not meet that goal in the past two conferences, so I wanted to give management the chance to look at options," said Banal in a statement released by Alaska.
Alaska team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu said Banal's selflessness on offering options to the team is "extremely magnanimous on his part."
"It speaks volumes for how professional he is putting the team’s interest ahead of his own. Joel heeded our call when Tim abruptly asked to be released from his live contract (intimating he wanted time away from coaching) and Joel stepped in at our request with very short notice and worked hard to continue Alaska’s success. Unfortunately, it did not go the way we had wanted."
Luigi Trillo, former UAAP point guard for the De La Salle Green Archers, will be taking over Banal's head choaching duties.
The younger Trillo and Jojo Lastimosa, both Alaska assistant coaches, were considered for the post.
"It was a tough choice because both candidates have a lot to offer and in the end I decided to go with Luigi because he has had head coaching experience in the PBL and the D-League. Joaqui inhibited himself in the final decision because he was conflicted being Luigi’s father. I believe Jojo will continue to be a team player and because he has a lot to offer from his playing experience and also wants to see the Aces resume its winning tradition," said Uytengsu.
Trillo has expressed his gratitude to the organization for entrusting him with the position.
Alaska has also announced the return of Jason Forte as the Aces' import for the third conference.
With reference and photo from Interaksyon