PBA Season 43 Preview: TNT relishes being under the radar
Head Coach: Nash Racela
Key Players: Jayson Castro, Kelly Williams, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario
Key Additions: Sidney Onwubere, Mac Tallo, Monbert Arong
Key Losses: Danny Seigle
With the PBA Philippine Cup around the corner, two favorites have emerged as early favorites in the forms of three-peat champion San Miguel Beer and last year’s runner-up Ginebra.
An unassuming power, however, hovers just below the radar and it’s five-time champion TNT.
The KaTropa were once the most formidable squad in the All-Filipino conference winning three straight titles in the first three years of the decade but have since gave way to the Beermen as they collected their record seven Philippine Cups.
TNT head coach Nash Racela, though, relishes in his team’s modest status in the offseason but promised they can bring the fight to the big boys of San Miguel and Ginebra.
“The expectation has always been to compete and of course get better by the game,” said Racela. “And hopefully, of course, win a championship.”
“It’s good and not so good that people talk about us and at the end of the day everything will be all about performance.”
TNT doesn’t have the same size that San Miguel has in 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo or Ginebra’s twin towers of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, who stand at seven feet and 6-foot-9, respectively.
What the KaTropa does have are versatile forwards in Kelly Williams, Troy Rosario, and Moala Tautuaa, who are all listed at 6-foot-7.
“We can’t be bigger than we are now, but we can be stronger and faster, and smarter, and hopefully that will be enough,” said Racela.