PBA FINALS: Not a troll job, just a good job for Don Trollano

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 09, 2019 10:54 PM
PBA FINALS: Not a troll job, just a good job for Trollano
Don Trollano has been nothing but a pleasant surprise for TNT in its ongoing championship chase

TNT vs San Miguel Beer in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals has been as good as advertised - and all the stars of the two teams have been shining bright.

From out of the shadows, however, the KaTropa have unleashed a secret weapon that has helped tilt the best-of-seven series back in their favor.

Don Trollano has been the primary defender on Beermen reinforcement Chris McCullough and thus far, the former has made the latter work for each and every statistic.

And with the series all even at 1-1, the unheralded swingman then made his presence felt at the other end with a career-high 18 points, Friday at Araneta Coliseum - all those key to his side's much-welcome 115-105 win.

For Trollano, his breakout game was just another day in the office. "Gusto ko lang talagang manalo. Ryan [Reyes] is injured and I needed to step up," he said post-game, talking about their starting shooting guard who was out with a calf injury.

Add to that the fact that TNT was oh so close to being a win away from the championship - and the four-year veteran and his teammates had all the fuel he needed for their already burning fire. "Yung Game 2, nawala pa sa amin, nasa amin na kaya ang mindset lang namin is to bounce back," he said.

Indeed, the KaTropa just went back to work and came away with a convincing victory in the crucial contest.

That workmanlike mentality was no more evident than in Trollano who, alongside his career-best scoring, also added five rebounds, one steal, and a whole lot of energy.

"I've talked to him about just playing defense, crashing the offensive glass, and just allowing the game to come to you. He's got a role now on the team and he's earned it," active consultant Mark Dickel said.

Of course, the now-27-year-old was just returning the trust given to him by their coaching staff.

Asked what had been the catalyst for their glue guy's strong showings, Dickel answered, through chuckles, "It's probably us playing him more minutes, to be honest. But he's always been more than capable."

And for doing his job, Trollano has not only earned the trust of the TNT coaching staff, but their American reinforcement as well.

In fact, more than a few of Terrence Jones' nine assists in the game went to the 15th overall pick in the 2015 PBA Draft.

"Siguro, nakikita lang niya akong open. Nagtiwala lang siya sakin," Trollano said. "E sabi naman ng coaches sa amin, kumpyansa lang. Pag-open, itira."

Without a doubt, he did just that - and in doing so, proved to be a key cog for the KaTropa's title hopes.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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