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San Miguel just ‘better in the end’ says Luigi Trillo

Coach Luigi Trillo at the Meralco Bolts’ bench during the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against San Miguel Beermen. –MARLO CUETO/

SCHEDULE: PBA Finals San Miguel vs Meralco

MANILA, Philippines—Meralco coach Luigi Trillo knew exactly what San Miguel Beer did right in tying the series at 2-2 in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

The Bolts lost their edge in the best-of-seven series with June Mar Fajardo giving the Beermen a strong start that Trillo and his team just couldn’t recover from in Game 4.

“We pushed the pace, we got it a bit close but obviously, they were better in the end,” said the Trillo after the 111-101 loss.

READ: PBA Finals: San Miguel gets back at Meralco to tie series at 2-2

“They played with a lot of energy. The two-day break kind of helped them a bit. He (Gallent) had June Mar (Fajardo) going with 18 points in the first half, he really is the MVP and they really went to him.”

Fajardo was instrumental in the San Miguel win as he finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds just hours after winning his 10th Best Player of the Conference award.

The seven-time league MVP also scored 12 of his 28 in the first quarter alone.

But it wasn’t all Fajardo out there for San Miguel, with Vic Manuel and Terrence Romeo fielded by coach Joge Gallent and catching Bolts off guard.

“They have the depth, they scored 111 points, we have a lot to clean up. They all chipped in, they gave us problems with the two-big lineup with Mo and June Mar then they went small with Mo at the five. They have a lot of weapons,” Trillo said.

Romeo, who is still listed as day-to-day with a calf injury, scored seven points with three assists and a rebound for good measure in just 18 minutes of action.

Manuel had significantly fewer minutes with seven but he certainly made the most out of it with eight points and two rebounds.

READ: PBA Finals: Vic Manuel ‘happy, nervous’ in timely return for San Miguel

To add to Meralco’s woes, Brandon Bates and Cliff Hodge fouled out in the fourth quarter, leaving the paint open for the Beermen and ending any chance for a comeback for the Bolts.

With the series virtually turning to be a best-of-three, Trillo said he will go back to the drawing board to see what the Bolts can do to avoid losing two straight to San Miguel Beer.

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