Three experienced head coaches, all in one coaching staff.
It looks like the Meralco Bolts will be taking the coaching by committee approach—similar to that employed by the recently crowned PBA Governor’s Cup champion TNT Tropang Giga.
And expected to take a major role in Meralco’s coaching situation is Nenad Vucinic, who was appointed as the Bolts’ active consultant after long-time assistant Luigi Trillo was promoted as head coach. Norman Black, who helmed Meralco for nine years, was relegated to a team consultant role, effectively giving the Bolts three men with extensive head coaching experience.
It is a setup that seems complicated, but it appears Trillo is all for it as he explained the potential coaching dynamic to former PBA commissioner Noli Eala in his Power & Play podcast on Saturday.
“Coach Nenad will be the active consultant. It’s very different from Talk N Text, where Jojo [Lastimosa] was really aggressive. He was the active guy,” Trillo bared on the show. “I’m excited about it, I know Nenad has a good mind and we’ll be more working in tandem. We’ll be working closely together.”
But where does that leave Black, the coach who steered the Bolts to multiple semifinals appearances and four Governors’ Cup finals stints?
“Coach Norman will take a step back in this,” Trillo admitted. “But his insights will be there. He still is a consultant.”
Curiously, Trillo did just fine on his own as Meralco’s interim head tactician in the 2022 Philippine Cup, where Black had to take an extended leave of absence. In that conference, Trillo helped the Bolts beat nemesis Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the quarterfinals to set up a semis duel opposite eventual Philippine Cup champions San Miguel Beermen.
It will be interesting to see how this rejigged coaching dynamic at Meralco will play out.