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Luigi Trillo named new Meralco head coach, Norman Black becomes consultant

Norman Black and Luigi Trillo will be swapping roles next season. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Following a modest success last season during his time as interim coach, Luigi Trillo has been elevated to full-time head coach for Meralco.

In an announcement on Monday, Trillo will take over the head coaching post for the team while Norman Black, the incumbent gaffer, has been named team consultant.

After a successful stint in the amateurs as Ateneo's head coach, Black returned to the pros to coach Meralco, and he led the Bolts to four PBA finals appearances, all coming in the Governors' Cup with Allen Durham and later on Tony Bishop as imports.

However, Meralco missed the finals this year after losing to TNT, the eventual champion, in the semifinals.

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Meralco management and the MVP group for supporting myself and the Bolts," Black said. "In addition, I wish to thank the players and my coaching staff for their hard work and positive attitudes in their efforts to make the team successful over the years. I now look forward to helping the team in my capacity as team consultant in our continued quest to bring a championship to the Meralco franchise."

"We thank Coach Norman for his unwavering commitment and the indelible mark he has left on the organization," added team manager Paolo Trillo.

Meanwhile, Nenad Vucinic keeps his consultant role for Meralco, but he will be designated as the team's active consultant.

In recent years, active consultants have been doing the head coaching chores instead of the listed head coach primarily due to a ruling from the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines barring foreigners from coaching basketball clubs unless given exemption.

It remains unknown if Vucinic, who once coached Gilas Pilipinas, will actually be the Bolts' de facto chief tactician or he will let Luigi Trillo, who led Alaska to its last PBA title in 2013, take charge mainly.

However, Paolo, Luigi's brother, is glad for both Luigi and Nenad for their "promotions".

"We are also grateful to have Coach Nenad and Coach Luigi taking on new roles in leading the Bolts," Paolo Trillo said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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