Under new coach, Newsome believes old team concepts still work
Chris Newsome doesn’t see any drastic transition from Norman Black to new coach Luigi Trillo as Meralco continues to fine-tune things under a new direction ahead of the next Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season that tips off in mid-October.
“I think the transition’s gonna be okay,” Newsome said during the ongoing PBA On Tour, an exhibition series being used to help the Bolts get a good feel of how Trillo wants to run the team.
Meralco handed the keys to Trillo after spending several years as an assistant coach to Black, who was designated by the Bolts as a consultant.
The Bolts have played three games under Trillo in the series, splitting the previous two against the NorthPort Batang Pier and Phoenix Fuel Masters and were facing the Converge FiberXers on Sunday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“I think coach Luigi being there definitely helps with the transition from coach Norman,” Newsome said. “We still keep a lot of concepts we have with coach Norman. Of course we were successful as an organization with those concepts so why not keep them and add on to it?
“And I think that’s what we’re doing now is taking our core and what we’ve built up to this point and how we can make the adjustments so that we can finally get over that hump and win our first title in the PBA, because that’s been the goal of the organization,” he added.
The reshuffle has also led to changes in the coaching staff, with Serbian Nenad Vucinic retaining his role as active consultant while former player Reynel Hugnatan has been included in the staff to join Gene Afable and Sandro Soriano.
“I think we got a great coaching staff, especially with coach Nenad being there to help us as well,” he said. “He’s very knowledgeable when it comes to the game and this might be the changes that we need.”
Meralco made four Finals appearances while reaching the semis in six of the last seven conferences under Black prior to the change that the team hopes would result in realizing its ultimate goal.
“But of course, you got to give credit to coach Norman for putting this team and the organization in the position it’s in from the get-go, so we should never forget that.,” said Newsome.
Newsome is expected to skip the whole duration of the On Tour due to the Gilas Pilipinas preparation for the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup while Aaron Black and Chris Banchero have yet to suit up in the early part of the series because of minor injuries.
Trillo has used primarily role players like Anjo Caram, Alvin Pasaol and Raymar Jose to see if they can get a chance to be part of the rotation. INQ