SHORTHANDED Cagayan Valley leaned on Don Trollano to pull off an 83-74 victory over Café France in the opening game of the 2013-2014 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Thursday.
Trollano, the Rising Suns’ first pick from Adamson in the first-ever league draft, scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half as Cagayan Valley took the victory despite missing four key players due to the ongoing NCAA Season 89.
The Rising Suns played minus Mark Cruz, John Pinto, Prince Caperal, and Kenneth Ighalo, who are still playing for their mother teams in the NCAA.
Trollano was the key in the Rising Suns’ pullaway as the Adamson shooting guard scored two free throws in Cagayan Valley’s 7-0 run to break a 68-68 tie midway in the fourth.
“Maganda lang ’yung pag-execute nila in the last four minutes,” said Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua. “Pero tagilid kami.”
Trollano also grabbed 11 rebounds and hit timely baskets after going 1-of-8 in the first half.
“Siya ’yung nag-step-up talaga. Hindi lang on offense, pati defense,” said Pua.
Adrian Celada added 20 points including three triples, Mark Bringas chipped in 11 points, and John Clarence Foronda 10 markers.
Former Cagayan Valley players Ping Exciminiano and Eloy Poligrates had 16 and 14 points, respectively, for Café France.
Cagayan Valley (83) – Trollano 22, Celada 20, Bringas 11, Foronda 10, Canta 6, Mercader 5, Melano 5, Saycon 4, Jamito 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Café France (74) – Exciminiano 16, Poligrates 14, Nimes 14, Ebondo 8, Mutombo 6, Knuttel 6, Parala 5, Abundo 4, De Leon 1, Sedurifa 0, Opiso 0, Batino 0, Sarangay 0.
Quarterscores: 15-17; 36-27; 55-53; 83-74.