TNT sharpens defensive teeth in rout of Blackwater | Inquirer Sports

TNT sharpens defensive teeth in rout of Blackwater

/ 05:25 AM October 23, 2022

Cameron Oliver (left) leads TNT with 38 points. —PBA PHOTO.

Cameron Oliver (left) leads TNT with 38 points. —PBA PHOTO.


After playing improved defense that contributed heavily in TNT avoiding another upset defeat, coach Chot Reyes feels there’s still room for improvement on that aspect as it now awaits a massive test against an upstart team guided by a promising young coach.


“We still have to work on our defense,” Reyes said after the Tropang Giga, despite trailing for most of the first half, pulled this one out after forcing the Blackwater Bossing to 31 total turnovers on the way to a 108-98 win on Saturday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.


The win fashioned out at Philsports Arena in Pasig City allowed TNT to redeem itself after being stunned by NLEX, 110-101, last Wednesday and go 3-2 in the midseason conference.

Rain or Shine added to Meralco’s woes later in the night after a 113-96 win had the Bolts reeling to a third straight defeat.

Five players tossed in twin digits for the Elasto Painters, who rose to a level 3-3 card as Meralco dropped to 1-5.

Up next for TNT is an Oct. 28 matchup with an impressive Converge side that saw neophyte PBA mentor Aldin Ayo guiding his squad to a shock defeat of Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer.

“I don’t regard Aldin as a newcomer,” Reyes said of Ayo, whose FiberXers are second to the guest team Bay Area Dragons in scoring at 108.2 points per contest behind their fast-paced offense and knack for the outside shot.

“He’s really one of the good young coaches coming up and I’m not surprised with how Converge is playing under his watch. So that would be a huge test for us,” added Reyes.


Reyes felt the Tropang Giga have yet to fully realize what they can do on the defensive end, despite being the first team since 2018 that forced its opponent to commit at least 30 turnovers in a game.

Blackwater couldn’t hold on to an early nine-point lead as TNT took full control in the second half behind import Cameron Oliver (38 points) and Mikey Williams (conference-high 28 points).

“[And] that’s good that we forced 31 turnovers, but Blackwater still shot a very good percentage from the floor.”

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Blackwater continued its up-and-down performance, falling to a 3-4 record after former TNT standout Troy Rosario sat out due to plantar fasciitis.

TAGS: Blackwater Bossing, PBA Commissioner's Cup, TNT

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