‘Snubbed’ Don Trollano eclipses shooting record of Allan Caidic, 2 others
Don Trollano got a pat on the back from a number of players waiting for the start of the other game of Thursday’s PBA Governors’ Cup doubleheader after his career performance that catapulted NLEX on the cusp of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“Hindi mo pa siningkwenta (You didn’t try and go for 50),” one Magnolia player told Trollano, who responded with a smile before heading to the press room for a postgame interview after scoring 44 points in NLEX’s 142-125 win over Terrafirma at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I was actually told by Asi [Taulava] to ‘go get 50’ because it’s his 50th birthday today and I wanted to get it for him,” Trollano later said at the interview room. “But things didn’t go my way in the end.”
It was an afternoon to remember for Trollano and another reason why many felt he was snubbed of a spot in this month’s PBA All-Star Game in Passi City, Iloilo.
He had a strong chance of becoming the first local player in five years to hit the half-century mark, before running out of gas in the payoff period. Still, Trollano’s nine straight threes was a new league mark while his scoring output tied the mark of NorthPort’s Robert Bolick for most in a game this season.
NLEX ties record
WATCH: Don Trollano was greeted by Magnolia players after scoring 44 points in NLEX’s 142-125 win over Terrafirma.“Don, di mo pa siningkwenta?!” one Magnolia player tells Trollano. | via Jonas Terrado/Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Thursday, March 2, 2023
“I want him to shoot. I want him to score,” NLEX coach Frankie Lim said of Trollano. “I thought he was doing things that [PBA legend] Allan Caidic would make. I’m happy for him [and] I’m happy for my team.”
Trollano’s feat broke the record of eight straight made triples shared by Allan Caidic in 1991, Renren Ritualo in 2005 and Von Pessumal in 2019.
As a team, NLEX dropped 23 triples to equal the league record set three times. But coach Frankie Lim said that a seventh win in 10 matches was the most important number.
“We need this win in order to maintain our stand in the top four,” said Lim, who recently celebrated his birthday despite being born on a leap day 63 years ago.
“We really needed this win because we’re trying to get to the top four and secure the twice-to-beat advantage. We can’t afford to lose because our chances could go down,” he said.
NLEX has to beat San Miguel Beer on March 15 in its final elimination round assignment in order to book the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Lim, who is in just his second conference as NLEX coach, paid tribute to Trollano, who has established himself this season as one of the cornerstones of NLEX after years of finding his niche with Rain or Shine, TNT and Blackwater.
And Thursday’s win showed why. Trollano’s 24 points in the third helped the Road Warriors pull away from the Dyip and he ended the contest by making 17-of-23 shots.
Import Wayne Selden Jr. dropped 38 points, as he and Trollano nearly became the first teammates to score at least 40 in a single game since Caidic and Terrance Bailey pulled off the feat in 1991.
Despite 38 points from another All-Star snub in Juami Tiongson, Terrafirma dropped a fifth straight game and fell to a 2-7 (win-loss) record.
After Magnolia manhandled NorthPort in the second game, 129-109, the Dyip officially missed the quarterfinals for the 17th straight conference. The Hotshots used a 42-16 second quarter to run away from the Batang Pier.