TNT head coach Chot Reyes refuses to get carried away even if his team has clinched the top spot of the 2021 Honda PBA Philippine Cup.
The Tropang Giga accomplished this by way of a 102-92 conquest of NorthPort on Wednesday, which improved their record to 9-1.
According to league stats chief Fidel Mangonon III, the last time the MVP Group’s crown jewel started 9-1 – or better – was in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup. There, they finished the eliminations 10-1 and went all the way to the Finals.
And just like what they did back then, the present-day Tropa have also secured a coveted twice-to-beat advantage for the quarterfinals.
But then, the league’s only five-time Coach of the Year would like to keep his squad grounded. Though it’s a relief that they have such an edge for the postseason, Reyes insists that the job isn’t over yet.
“In any tournament, you want to grab any advantage that you can,” he said. “So all that this means for us is we have an advantage. But that advantage is not going to mean anything if we don’t take advantage of that advantage.
“Of course, we’d rather be twice-to-beat than need to beat somebody twice, but as I said, the job is far, far from over,” he added.
“It’s nice to be in the position we’re in, but we’re still a long way from being even done.”
As he has said in previous interviews, getting better every day is their main objective as a team.
Reyes cited Wednesday’s game as an example. They started off slow until Mikey Williams gave them the lead right before the halftime intermission. That shot then seemed to wake up the Tropang Giga in the second half.
The multi-titled mentor has said earlier that he would want to see his TNT play solid for the entire 48 minutes. And that could be the case, up to now.
“We’re not thinking about that too much. We just want to focus on continuing to get better,” he said. “Today we had a lot of lapses in our game.
“We were able to correct in the second half a little bit, but we still need to get better.”