In Jayson Castro’s terms, the TNT KaTropa’s run in the 2017-2018 PBA season has been “nakakahiya.”
After a season of being consistent contenders – where they even vied for the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup crown – the Texters saw a major drop this season as they failed to make it into the semifinals of each of the next three conferences.
And they have hit rock bottom in the 2018 Governors’ Cup following their 93-112 loss to Justin Brownlee and two-time defending champs Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night, as it kicked them out of the playoff race.
As per the league’s stats chief Fidel Mangonon, TNT are out of the playoffs for the first time in nine conferences. Prior to this conference, the last time they failed to get past the eliminations was in the 2015 edition of the season-ender.
“Nakakalungkot kasi last season lagi kaming semis and then nakapasok kami ng Finals.
“Hopefully, next season makabawi kami kasi sobrang nakakahiya na – before contender kami and then ngayon lagi kaming out,” said Castro.
Still, Castro and his team are looking at the positives of this early exit. For them, they have all the time they need to prepare for next season, including becoming accustomed to the new system of their new coaches.
The KaTropa are still getting themselves used to head coach Bong Ravena and consultant Mark Dickel; the flagship MVP franchise are rebuilding following their parting of ways with former head coach Nash Racela.
“Siguro, isang way na yun (early exit) para makapag-prepare na kami next season at makapag-training camp kami, kasi yun yung kailangan namin – kitang-kita naman [na] yung chemistry ng players sa system at sa coaching staff ‘di pa ganun kaano kasi ilang games pa lang, ‘di ba.
“Yung off-season na ‘to, ito yung time para samin na (makuha) yung gustong i-apply na sistema ni coach Bong and coach Mark,” said the four-time Best Player of the Conference.