Fuller solid in first outing for TNT, but Moore still in town
Aaron Fuller was a solid show in his first stint with the TNT Tropang Giga, leading the team to a 95-92 victory over gutsy Rain or Shine late Sunday evening.
“I got to give a lot of credit to my teammates,” the veteran PBA import, who replaced McKenzie Moore, told reporters covering the last match of the league’s two-day holiday showdown at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It was a tough game for me. But the most important thing is everyone. You know, they really picked up the slack. I didn’t play well at all. Next practice is coming up [so] I want to be ready for the next game and try to contribute more to our wins,” he added.
Fuller may need to prove his worth because as it turns out, Moore hasn’t left yet and TNT is keeping him in the payroll just in case.
“Mac is still here. He’s on injured reserve essentially. That’s the situation right now, and we are going to stay with that until we get a chance to make a decision,” said coach Chot Reyes after the game. “But right now we have both guys.”
Moore spearheaded a 1-2 start for TNT and Fuller’s victory buys him time to acquaint himself with the team all the more. And it gives the Tropang Giga momentum going into the new year.
“I [thought] if we could just end the year na 50-50, then it would be a big win for us,” said Reyes, who got solid games from Fuller, Poy Erram, Mikey Williams, RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro. “That’s exactly how it turned out. We could have easily been 0-4, but we could have also easily been 4 and 0.”
Fuller and Moore provide different looks for TNT. Moore can run plays while Fuller plays more up front.
Both, however, are being looked upon to bolster a talented local crew that helped the Tropang Giga win the Philippine Cup.
Against the Painters, Erram finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, coming through in crunch time with key plays and the freebies that sealed the deal for TNT, pretty much preserving the efforts of Williams, who scored a team-high 25.
Fuller pumped in a double of 13 and 10 straight out of quarantine.
“There’s nothing else to do in that situation but make those free throws,” said Erram. INQ
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