PBA: Luigi Trillo tips hat to Yeng Guiao after Meralco-Rain or Shine chess match
MANILA, Philippines—Meralco may have one-upped Rain or Shine in their first encounter in the PBA Commissioners’ Cup tournament but coach Luigi Trillo made sure to tip his hat to Yeng Guiao after a hard-fought duel.
After the Bolts’ 107-102 victory over the Elasto Painters, Trillo said that Guiao is steering his squad in “the right direction.”
Trillo also commended the entire Rain or Shine squad for making it hard for Meralco to take its first season win.
“[With] coach Yeng, the nice thing is, he’s got the team, he’s got the two rookies (Luis Villegas and Keith Datu Jr.) and they’re heading in the right direction,” said the top coach at Philsports Arena on Wednesday.
“You can see it was a hard matchup for us. In the preseason, they were No. 1 [in scoring] their pace was so hard and it was gut check time for us throughout the game.”
Villegas was seen in civilian clothes during the game, still nursing the ACL injury he absorbed in April but Datu Jr. showed why he was a first-rounder for Rain or Shine.
In his debut game in the big league, Datu Jr. scored 16 points with five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in just over 23 minutes of action.
Elasto Painters’ young guns Leonard Santillan and Andrei Caracut also finished with 16 and 15 markers, respectively, in the close loss.
Seeing Rain or Shine’s youthful core flourish made Trillo acknowledge the squad even more and said the Elasto Painters will potentially be a threat for other squads as the season grows.
“Make no mistakes, Rain or Shine is going to be a team that can contend here and I expect them to be one of the tougher teams as the season progresses.”
Elasto Painters import Dajuan Summers struggled from the field, sinking only eight of his 23 attemptsbut still finished with a near double-double of 27 points and nine rebounds.
The Bolts’ Suleiman Braimoh Jr. had a much better game to the tune of 34 points and 14 rebounds but Trillo said both imports had some similarities in terms of talents.
“We played Dajuan in Fiba Asia in Thailand before and he played for Korea and we lost that game. I remember him, he’s just like Su, high character but a bit older.”