It was one of those nights for Don Trollano as he powered NLEX’s record-setting 142-125 decimation of the free-falling Terrafirma for their seventh win of the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup, Thursday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The 31-year-old erupted for a career-best 44 points, 41 of which he scored just inside the game’s first three quarters to lead the blowout that ultimately enabled the Road Warriors to further boost their chances of a Top Four finish.
“Kailangan din talaga namin manalo. Crucial ‘yung game na ‘to, since we’re trying to get to the Top Four para may twice-to-beat,” said the eighth-year forward. “Kung matalo kami, baka ‘yung chance namin, bumaba.”
In resetting the club record for most points in a game by a local, Trollano sank a career-high nine three-pointers, which set a new all-time record for most treys made in consecutive fashion, per league stats chief Fidel Mangonon III.
He greatly contributed to NLEX’s total triples made with 23, which has tied the PBA record for most treys in a game set by San Miguel and TNT.
“I want him to shoot. I want him to score. Ang naiisip ko lang mga tipong Allan Caidic, mga gumagawa ng ginawa niya,” lauded head coach Frankie Lim. “I’m happy for him. I’m happy for my team. What matters most is the W.”
Other Road Warriors also took the opportunity to turn in solid outings. Wayne Selden Jr. finished with 38 points as he fell just short of making him and Trollano the first teammates to score 40 each in a game in 32 years.
Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser came through with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Kevin Alas added 15 markers off the bench.
It was Ganuelas-Rosser and Alas who connived for the key 7-0 run that put NLEX up, 44-40, in the second quarter, and Trollano would take it from there as he led their 15-4 blitz for a 69-44 lead heading into the break.
It would be all Road Warriors from that point on, with Trollano exploding for 24 points in the third quarter alone that left the opposition shell-shocked.
They’d lead by as many as 28 points, 116-88, as they went on to improve to 7-3 in the standings, where they maintained their place at no. 4.
“What matters most is the win. The records or the scores will just come in,” offered Lim. “I told them it’s a must-win for us, we cannot take Terrafirma lightly. And we need this win in order to maintain our stand in the Top Four.”
Overshadowed by Trollano and Co. were the efforts of Juami Tiongson for Terrafirma, where he finished with a career-high 38 points.
Import Jordan Williams had 29 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Andreas Cahilig made 17 points and nine boards, while Joseph Gabayni added 10 and 13 for the Dyip, who absorbed their fifth loss in a row and dropped to 2-7.
NLEX 142 – Trollano 44, Selden Jr. 38, Ganuelas-Rosser 19, Alas 15, Paniamogan 6, Nieto 5, Rosales 4, Pascual 4, Miranda 3, Doliguez 2, Semerad 2, Gabo 0, Ighalo 0.
Terrafirma 125 – Tiongson 38, J.Williams 29, Cahilig 17, Gabayni 13, Ramos 5, Cabagnot 5, Calvo 4, Camson 4, Gomez de Liano 3, Daquioag 3, Alolino 2, Ferrer 2, Mina 0.
Quarterscores: 31-27, 66-49, 110-87, 142-125.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.