PBA: Eyeing twice-to-beat, TNT hopes for better defense vs NorthPort
MANILA, Philippines—TNT’s chances of getting that coveted twice-to-beat quarterfinals perk hinge on its final game against a red-hot NorthPort team and head coach Chot Reyes wants his team to clamp down as if there’s no tomorrow.
The Tropang Giga, as Reyes said, had an atrocious defensive effort against also-ran Terrafirma in its 127-107 win on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Reyes said that if his team decides to do the same against the Batang Pier then their hopes of a spot in the top four of the ladder won’t come to fruition.
“It has to be a defensive mindset, we have to find a way to stop NorthPort’s offensive juggernaut,” said Reyes, whose team will play the Batang Pier on Friday.
TNT usually holds its opponents to 89.9 points a game but the Dyip, who averaged 99.8 per outing prior to the matchup, managed to eclipse that by nearly 20 points.
Terrafirma went 9-of-20 from deep and had an overall 37-of-70 from the field.
Fortunately for the Tropang Giga, their offensive production more than made up for their lackluster defense as their 127 points are far more than their average of 95.8.
The Batang Pier, however, are far different than Terrafirma as they hold the longest winning streak in the league at five straight games to get to an even 5-5 and come knocking at the quarterfinals.
NorthPort also has four players in Jamel Artis, Robert Bolick, Arwind Santos, and Jamie Malonzo who can score at will.
“All those guys are buckets, their import Jamel, Robert, Arwind is playing the basketball of his life, Jamie also,” said Reyes. “In terms of approach, it has to be a defensive approach. We have to be able to defend NorthPort on Friday.”