PBA: After failing to pad lead vs Ginebra, TNT ready for best-of-3 quarters | Inquirer Sports

PBA: After failing to pad lead vs Ginebra, TNT ready for best-of-3 quarters

/ 10:30 PM July 12, 2022

TNT Tropang Giga and coach Chot Reyes

TNT Tropang Giga and coach Chot Reyes. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Down to just a couple of minutes and with the outcome already beyond doubt, coach Chot Reyes on Sunday night could be seen on the TNT sidelines still barking instructions at his charges against Barangay Ginebra.

The Tropang Giga were trying to pad their lead over the crowd darlings at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


“We could’ve just stopped playing but the format is such that practically every point counts,” Chot Reyes explained in the post-game presser, on the heels of a 106-92 victory that had the club wrapping its elimination round at 8 wins and 3 losses.


“We were going after the point differential because we lost by 16 against San Miguel, so we were hoping to get over (that margin) as well,” he went on.

TNT was trying to leave nothing to chance at this critical juncture of the PBA Philippine Cup where clubs are trying to position themselves in the best possible way to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Reyes and his charges could figure in a three-way tie should the Gin Kings and the Beermen also finish with the same record. Winning the match by 16 would have given the Tropang Giga, defending champions of the centerpiece tournament, one of the two spots at the top that have twice-to-beat protection in the quarterfinals.

“We were really going for 9 and 2. We felt 9 and 2 was the needed record to get to the Top 2, but we fell short by one,” he said.

TNT could’ve not been saddled with such a problem if it turned in the same, cutthroat run it did during last year’s All-Filipino showcase where it won all but one of its elimination games. But that would’ve only been possible if the club had its foremost scorer, Mikey Williams, early on.

Williams, the league’s scoring champion, missed the Tropang Giga’s first five games due to contract negotiations. During that stretch, the club suffered a stunning 85-78 upset to Blackwater and then a gut-wrenching 90-89 loss against sister team NLEX.


Injuries also kept TNT from playing at full strength in the latter half of the eliminations. The Tropang Giga were without veterans Troy Rosario and Ryan Reyes in that stinging 115-99 defeat at the hands of San Miguel.

Reyes is now just drawing consolation from the fact that TNT is now entering a hard-earned break and has recaptured a bit of its old form going into the next phase of the campaign.

“We were stung by the last defeat, specifically with how poorly we defended. And all of our discussion was to get back to our identity which is really our ability to make stops. That really generates our offense. And I thought this was a big improvement—from giving up 114 points in the last game to just 92 this game against a very tough team at that,” Reyes said.

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“We just have to be ready to play whoever we have to play in the quarterfinals in a best-of-three, I guess, if we don’t get to the Top 2,” he went on.

TAGS: TNT Tropang Giga

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