PBA: After big win, Luigi Trillo wary of Bolts’ next assignment
PBA COMMISSIONER’S CUP

PBA: After big win, Luigi Trillo wary of Bolts’ next assignment

/ 04:10 AM January 10, 2024

Shonn Miller (top), rose to the occasion for Meralco against league-leading Magnolia in an out-of-town match. —PBA IMAGES

Shonn Miller (top), rose to the occasion for Meralco against league-leading Magnolia in an out-of-town match. —PBA IMAGES

Meralco coach Luigi Trillo knows he has his work cut out for him when Meralco takes the first of the two steps leading toward a playoff advantage.

The Bolts are coming off a morale-boosting upset of defensive juggernaut and league-leading Magnolia, but their next assignment in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup is equally tough.

“They beat Ginebra and we all know that,” Trillo said of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, who, with an identical 7-2 card, are also gunning for the much-coveted quarterfinal bonus.

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The two teams tangle on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum, with the winner inching closer to gaining twice-to-beat protection in the next round.

“The thing with coach Jamike (Jarin) is that he throws things at you won’t be ready for. There’s this thing where it’s a professional game where things are just man-to-man and deliberate—a slow game. But here’s [Jarin] there to disrupt and get you out of your flow,” Trillo said in a chat with the Inquirer.

Trillo’s also underscored the buy-in that has been evident within Phoenix’s run this conference.

“He’s done a good job of maximizing the players that he has. The [young players] are really responding to him, too,” he said, referring to the likes of young guns Tyler Tio, along with rookies Ricci Rivero and Kenneth Tuffin.

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“But I think the other thing to really worry about is they have a really good import. He blends in well with what they do,” Trillo said of Johnathan Williams III.

Williams is one of the five remaining original imports this Commissioner’s Cup. He currently paces the league in scoring with 28.6 per outing built on a league second-best 60.5 percent shooting. The former Washington Wizards forward is also among the leaders in rebounds with 15.9, second to Rain or Shine’s Tree Treadwell.

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Trillo hopes to neutralize Williams and Phoenix’s knack of bumping teams off their rhythm with Shonn Miller, the Bolts’ new import who was solid in the 85-80 nipping of Magnolia in Iloilo City last weekend.

New import

“Shonn can do a lot of things defensively. He’s one guy who’s mobile—like a Bam Adebayo who can play the 3, 4, 5 [positions] but can also guard a 1. We’re looking forward to him doing more of the dirty work, and not being a weak link in the pick-and-roll,” he said.

“I think he has a tendency to fall in love with his three-point jump shot because he can shoot and he has range. But his ability to score underneath and put the ball on the floor—we’ve got to see that part of his game,” Trillo added.

Meanwhile, NLEX has tapped a new import once again in hopes of capturing the final ticket to the PBA knockout stages.

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The Road Warriors are set to field former University of Memphis forward DeAndre Williams Baldwin when they battle Converge at 8 p.m.

TAGS: Basketball, PBA, Sports

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