New team, same approach even as Trollano set to miss TNT's playoff run

It wasn't too long ago when Don Trollano was considered a crucial piece for a TNT side looking to stop San Miguel's late resurgence in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals

Though the KaTropa eventually fell in six games to the loaded Beermen, Trollano was able to distinguish himself as a two-way player who can score on all three levels for a TNT side that needed every ounce of contribution it could get from a shortened seven-man lineup.

Trollano built on that strong finals showing in the ongoing Governors' Cup, where his stout averages of 11.9 points (46.3 shooting from the field and 38.3 percent shooting on 3s), 5.6 boards and 2.3 assists appeared to be an indication, at least on paper, that he would be an indispensable part of TNT's playoff aspirations once more.

The KaTropa's trade for Ray Parks last Sunday changed all that.

"At first, I was shocked because I didn't think that would happen," Trollano said in Filipino. "But that happened. That's the life of a traded player. There's only acceptance on my end. No hard feelings, they're still family."

Trollano, who was packaged alongside Tony Semerad and a 2021 first-round pick for the Blackwater star, laments the fact that he could have only been weeks away from playing in a tough playoff atmosphere once more.

"Too bad because it was only two weeks before the playoffs came around again. It feels better playing come playoff time. There's pressure, the defenses are tighter," he rued.

The rising forward had to put it all behind him immediately Wednesday, where he was given a lot of burn by the Elite. Trollano didn't disappoint and churned out 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in 34 minutes in a 99-96 overtime loss to San Miguel.

"There wasn't a lot of adjustment because I know all the players. When I came in, they quickly taught me the plays and I picked it up immediately. Even the veterans taught me how things worked here," he explained.

"I wasn't thinking about the offense," Trollano, who finished on 6-for-15 shooting, added. "I'll just do my job on the floor. If the offense comes, I'll take it. But that's only a second choice. I'm just going to play defense and go as hard as I can."

That seems to be the main -- and only -- course of action now for Trollano, who said he'll just put his head down and get to work as he braces for a long ride with his new team.

"It's just the same approach for me. I'm still going to go hard. Whatever I did with TNT, I'm still doing it because there's really nothing new. I'm at Blackwater, they have my rights so I'm just going to play as hard as I can," he said.