Ronnie Matias, Don Trollano earn praise for stepping up in Norwood, Almazan absence
Ronnie Matias had eight points and eight rebounds for Rain or Shine, which played without Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan. Jerome Ascano

DON Trollano and Ronnie Matias couldn’t have picked a better time to step up for Rain or Shine.

The two underrated players came off the bench to help the Elasto Painters’ cause in a 97-82 beating of Phoenix on Sunday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Trollano finished with nine points, seven of them in the opening period, while Matias scored all of his eight markers in the third period as they filled in the gap left by Gabe Norwood (viral infection) and Raymund Almazan (calf muscle injury).

“Yun talaga ang role namin, na tulungang mapunan kung ano ang kulang sa team,” said Trollano, who played for 15 minutes and was 3 of 7 from the field. He also added two rebounds, an assist and a steal.

[See Rain or Shine foils Phoenix comeback]

During practice, coach Caloy Garcia already told the two seldom-used players to get ready and be prepared against the Fuel Masters, according to the 33-year-old Matias.

“Basta kapag hindi ka naglalaro, kailangan ready ka (pa rin) talaga,” said the former University of Manila stalwart.

“Gusto ko talagang magpakita,” stressed Matias, who was also good for 15 minutes and added eight rebounds and three assists.

The contributions of both Matias and Trollano were appreciated by Garcia, especially with the Elasto Painters climbing up to solo second with a 5-2 record.

“Basically, mga second group namin like sila Trollano and Matias who came up big in this game,” said the Rain or Shine mentor.

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