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Tiebreaker Times


Chot Reyes admits: ‘We are no longer the mighty TNT’

TNT head coach Chot Reyes knows that they have their work cut out for them given the landscape of the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at present.

The outspoken mentor said that the Tropang Giga could no longer rely on talent alone in trying to win as many games as possible, for the field has gotten even more competitive which makes the road towards the playoffs even tougher.

“We’re no longer the mighty TNT and I think the sooner we accept that fact, the better it is going to be for us,” he said.

“We cannot win games on talent or just showing up. We really have to outwork and outhustle every team that we play.”

Reyes offered as much after TNT beat Meralco through a come-from-behind 92-90 decision, which snapped their two-game losing slide in the conference.

The champion bench tactician, though, wasn’t really that relieved despite the skid-ending win as he and the rest of the team still have plenty of work to be done after those learning experiences from those losses thus far.

Before losing to San Miguel (89-91) and NorthPort (96-112), the Tropa absorbed their first L at the hands of Blackwater, 76-87, last March 2.

Those defeats to youth-laden sides Bossing and the Batang Pier in particular, Reyes said, were because his wards were ‘outworked.’2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Meralco-vs-TNT-Calvin-Oftana Chot Reyes admits: 'We are no longer the mighty TNT' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

“I thought we played really well against San Miguel. But our losses to NorthPort and Blackwater were just simply, we were outworked,” he said.

“We cannot rely on our talent or our roster or our personnel. We really have to outwork and outhustle other teams,” he furthered.

Aside from the difference in effort, what made it harder for TNT — and the other PBA teams, definitely — in those outings were the teams’ roster buildup, breaking down in particular NorthPort and the unbeaten SMB.

#ReadMore  Chot adds Kevin Alas, Baser Amer to Gilas pool

“In-analyze namin yung lineup ng NorthPort eh, they’re very deep. Tignan mo yung bigs nila, their wings are both 6’5″ – si Arvin tsaka si Will Navarro. Munzon as a guard is 6’4”. They have five, six athletic bigs,” he said.

“Tignan mo ‘yung San Miguel, their 12th man is a guy named Vic Manuel. How deep is that deep? Pang-dose si Vic Manuel. Hindi na nga nila kailangan ng 13th, 14th, 15th player because that is a really stacked lineup.”

TNT has made improvements to its roster, too, with the key additions of Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Barkley Ebona, but Reyes lamented that they are still trying to polish everything jelling-wise with the two bigs on board.

“We do a lot of work beforehand. Nagka-camp kami, nagti-team building. Hindi namin nagawa yun this conference because of the changes. We were waiting for the new players, we were waiting for the team na mabuo.

“Noong nabubuo na kami, dadating na yung mga bagong players, umalis naman ito sa Gilas,” said Reyes, pointing to star forward Calvin Oftana. “So there’s a lot of problems that we ran through.”

That’s why it’s all on the coaches, Reyes said, to shape TNT into becoming the squad they want it to be in this all-Filipino tournament.

“That’s why I said we as coaches, we have to do a better job preparing and coaching the team. It starts with me,” he said.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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