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TNT eyes turnaround

Texters battle Batang Pier; Phoenix tests Meralco
By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 05:03 AM February 14, 2018

TNT KaTropa coach Nash Racela is hardly ruffled despite his team’s recent slump.

Even with the Texters in danger of missing out on the playoffs, Racela remains confident TNT can turn things around when it squares off with GlobalPort on Wednesday night in a crucial PBA Philippine Cup clash at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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But a victory by the Batang Pier in the 7 p.m. clash will allow Globalport to pull ahead of Ka Tropa in the playoff race.

Racela has been candid enough to admit his need for improvement, but also challenged his players to rise to the challenge.

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“We’re trying to address things, probably better management from my end,” Racela said, after a 93-78 defeat to Barangay Ginebra last Sunday.

“For some of our players, we’re not getting the usual numbers that we get from them basing on the previous conferences, years, so something is changing. So again, we need to make our adjustments, and be able to manage it better.”

The curtain raiser at 4:30 p.m. pitting Phoenix and Meralco also has huge playoff implications with the Fuel Masters looking to gain a share of fifth spot with NLEX and Ginebra.

The Fuel Masters stunned TNT, 74-72, in thrilling fashion last Friday, with guard Matthew Wright hoping the victory can spark a stirring finish in the elimination round.

“We’re not taking any of those teams lightly in our remaining games,” said Wright. “We are confident in our abilities, and we’re expecting to go 4-and-0 in our last four games. We took care of TNT, so we just got to take care of the next three.”

The Bolts are in need of a jolt after dropping to 2-6 following the 87-85 loss to NLEX last Friday.

“We just got to keep trying, come back next game and win the game,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, after the Bolts surrendered an 18-point lead in the loss.

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Racela’s squad rallied late in the same tournament last season and even dragged eventual champion San Miguel Beer to a Game 7 in the semifinals before bowing out.

“We just need to break the losing streak,” Racela said. “We just have to find ways to win the next one. We don’t really have a choice, but to focus on the next game.”

The Batang Pier boosted their roster ahead of the duel with the Texters after signing former Rain or Shine gunner Jeric Teng, who will be reunited with ex-University of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio, now at the helm at GlobalPort.

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TAGS: Basketball, Nash Racela, PBA, Sports
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