PBA Finals: Chot Reyes’ return ‘big boost’ for TNT in Game 4 win
MANILA, Philippines-TNT assistant Sandy Arespacochaga said the return of coach Chot Reyes had a major impact in the Tropang Giga’s 100-87 win over San Miguel Beer that tied their 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Finals at 2-2 on Sunday.
Reyes returned to the sidelines after a two-game absence due to his handling of Gilas Pilipinas’ road match against Lebanon in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers and guided TNT to a performance that could be considered as their best since the series began.
“It was a big boost for us once he came back,” said Arespacochaga, who did the customary postgame press conference with Reyes immediately leaving Smart Araneta Coliseum to handle Gilas Pilipinas’ practice session.
Reyes and Gilas will face Saudi Arabia to conclude the fourth window on Monday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Definitely, [it was a] big factor for us that coach Chot is back here and coaching the team,” added Arespacochaga.
Arespacochaga, tasked to call the shots when TNT lost Games 2 and 3, said giving Reyes a win was doubly special considering his juggling act and the ongoing criticisms for the results he has produced in recent international competitions.
“Of course, we also know that he’s been under fire, but we also know his dedication,” Arespacochaga said. “It’s hard to coach two teams and the dedication he’s giving for both Gilas and TNT.
“So we’re very happy that we won the game, not just for the series, but also for him,” he added.
TNT prevailed, led by a 26-point performance from Jayson Castro, another consistent showing from RR Pogoy, the first half shooting of Mikey Williams and the blue-collar work of Kelly Williams and Poy Erram.
The Tropang Giga also set a PBA record by committing just three turnovers, one less than the previous mark shared by three teams.
Game 5 is set Wednesday, with the series tie set to be broken and Reyes having the full attention of TNT’s quest to retain the All-Filipino crown.