Chot Reyes: Poor defense gets TNT’s ass kicked
MANILA, Philippines–TNT took the court on Friday bearing a heavyweight tag. But Converge looked every bit the more seasoned squad throughout the 48 minutes of the contest at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
“Obviously, we got our assess kicked,” a disgruntled Chot Reyes told a handful of reporters on the heels of a decisive 130-117 beating.
“Converge shot very well. 21 three [pointers]. We can’t win games if we allow our opponents to shoot that way, and that’s pretty much what happened,” he added.
The FiberXers were hot right out of the gates, pouring 43 points in the opening frame to nearly double the Tropang Giga’s output. Their sweet shooting had the club coasting for the next two quarters.
The Tropang Giga managed to slash the deficit to just nine in the fourth quarter. But that was a little too late for Reyes and his charges.
“Three-point shooting and second-chance points. I thought that those are the big differences of the ball game,” the champion mentor said as his crew dropped to 3-3 (win-loss) in the midseason showcase
TNT coach Chot Reyes rues his team’s defensive struggles which led to a shock 130-117 loss to Converge.
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) October 28, 2022
Reyes felt that TNT—a crew fitted with several national team-caliber players—was decent on the offensive end. But he couldn’t say the same for the Tropang Giga’s defense.
“Our offense wasn’t bad. We scored 117 points. We had only 10 turnovers. Shot 50 percent total. It’s not bad at all. But our defense really left a lot to be desired,” he said.
Reyes said that TNT’s deficiencies on defense stem from a bigger problem—one which is not really reflected on the stat sheet.
“It’s just effort,” he said. “It’s the consistency on effort.”
“We haven’t started a game well yet. Of all the six games (we played), we haven’t started strong and we have to address that. We seem to have a hard time finding our game, playing the game at our pace, playing the way we play it.”
Reyes could only hope that TNT is able to address that right before Sunday when it plays Phoenix, the hottest team in the league right now having won four straight contests.
“They’re running plays well. They’re on a streak. Our dilemma in this ball game is that we have another game in two days. Do we want to rest our guys when (the enemy) is up big? Or do we want to keep fighting? We elected to keep fighting ’til the end.”
“I hope we don’t pay for it on Sunday. That’s a tough team” Reyes said of the 4-3 Fuel Masters.