COMING off a hard-fought victory over Barangay Ginebra, the legs were obviously not there for the Meralco Bolts going to Game 1 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series against San Miguel.
Trillo on SMB vs Meralco Game 1
And the end result? A 121-97 blowout win by the Beermen to take the head start in their best-of-seven encounter at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
Acting coach Luigi Trillo admitted the Bolts were not just the same team that eliminated the Kings three days ago in a grueling quarterfinals series which Meralco won, 2-1, following a dramatic 106-104 victory in the deciding game.
“Honestly, I also really felt that the legs of the guys were down,” said Trillo. “I think in the first half alone, tapos na. First quarter pa lang they were up already I think by 15 points or 14 points.”
Trillo noted the same condition between his team and Magnolia, which also lost by a mile against defending champion TNT, 108-96, in the opener of the other semifinals series.
Like the Bolts, the Hotshots also had to go through the eye of the needle to get past NLEX in their own quarterfinals series, even needing to go through overtime before subduing the Road Warriors, 112-106, in their do-or-die encounter.
Trillo said the Ginebra series somehow took its toll on the Bolts.
“We played three games that were highly emotional and highly physical. That’s three games in five days. This is like our fourth tonight and we didn’t come up with that intensity,” he stressed.
“We’re due to have a bad game. I’ve been coaching them for how many games now? Nine games?,” said Trillo, adding how the Bolts played two OT games during that stretch against Magnolia and Ginebra.
“Today, everybody was just flat.”
Still, it’s a long series and Trillo hopes to have the Bolts better prepared for Game 2 on Friday.
“Hopefully, we can be better. Not a guarantee, but we can be better and give them a fight on Friday,” he said.
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