Defense will decide PBA title series, says Trillo


Posted at Feb 17 2014 09:00 AM | Updated as of Feb 17 2014 05:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Whoever plays with better defense will win the best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup championship, according to Alaska’s tactician.

Luigi Trillo said he expects the title series between San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine to be a drawn out affair, although he admitted that it is hard to predict the outcome.

“It’s very hard to say, but I think the series will be a long one, around six to seven games,” said Trillo on the PBA website.

The series is now tied 1-all as the Mixers leveled the series against the E-Painters on Sunday. Rain or Shine gutted out an 83-80 win in Game 1 before Rain or Shine bounced back with an 80-70 victory in Game 2.

Trillo said Rain or Shine has the advantage of having fresher legs as they are well rested compared to San Mig Coffee. Before making the finals, the Mixers had to grind it out against the Ginebra Gin Kings in seven semifinal games.

But Trillo, who served as Tim Cone’s assistant coach with Alaska, said the San Mig coach knows how to find ways to offset Rain or Shine’s advantage.

“Coach Tim is trying to be creative. He rested James (Yap) and didn’t put him until the final three minutes of the game. He’s trying to squeeze out the most in his second group because he needs the legs from those seven or eight guys in his rotation,” he said.

Just the same, he believes that the team who makes the stops will win.

“This series wouldn't be won by outscoring your opponents. The game will be won by making stops,” Trillo said. “If it goes the distance, I have to say San Mig. If it ends on six, it should be Rain or Shine.”