SMART CLARK GIGA CITY — Those ‘All Black Giga Mamba’ uniforms clearly boded well for TNT.
Ditching their typical blue and yellow uniforms temporarily on Saturday night, the Tropang Giga took down sister team Meralco Bolts, 92-79, to snap their two-game funk in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
According to head coach Bong Ravena, the black jerseys were the idea of team captain Ryan Reyes. They drew inspiration from the Black Mamba kits of the Los Angeles Lakers that pay homage to the late, great Kobe Bryant.
“Black uniform namin, idea ni team captain Ryan and the players. Baka mahawa kami ng suwerte nila, like ‘yung excellence nila Kobe, ‘yung Mamba Mentality,” said the seasoned bench tactician.
Majority of the TNT players, and the league as well, are big fans of the legendary icon — just check their feet. Reyes himself has been an avid fan of the Nike Kobe shoe line.
Roger Pogoy was wearing the Kobe V ‘Big Stage’ on his way to dropping a game-high 27 points on a 50-percent clip alongside eight rebounds. “Oo, laki talaga ng impluwensiya ni Kobe sa amin,” he said.
But it wasn’t just the Black Mamba that inspired the outfit. Ravena said that they also had the great New Zealand All Blacks rugby team in mind — active consultant Mark Dickel is a New Zealander himself.
“And this All Black teams from New Zealand, the rugby team. Doon namin nakuha. Idea nila ‘yan,” he said.
“Mabuti naman, medyo umano ‘yung suwerte ng All Blacks and ‘yung Mamba Mentality. Nag-effect sa amin,” he added, as the Tropa improved to 7-3 following the victory.
“So, thank you.”