MANILA, Philippines – Chot Reyes’ playoff streak with TNT has ended.
Reyes will miss the playoffs as the Tropang Giga coach for the first time as a myriad of injuries to key players hampered TNT and led to a disappointing campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, where it finished with a 4-8 record.
The final nail in the coffin came from a 119-99 loss to San Miguel, the same Beermen side that beat the Tropang Giga in seven games for the Philippine Cup crown earlier this season.
Playing without Jayson Castro (ankle) and Poy Erram (knee), TNT fell behind by double digits early and never recovered as it failed to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
The loss also snapped Reyes’ string of 24 straight playoff appearances.
According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon, Reyes last missed the playoffs in the 2001 Commissioner’s Cup back when he still coached Pop Cola.
Reyes always made the playoffs throughout his first stint with Tropang Giga from 2008 to 2012 and in the first three conferences of his second spell with TNT, even guiding the franchise to the 2021 Philippine Cup crown.
But injuries severely crippled the Tropang Giga this conference.
Castro sat out the first two games of the tournament due to the ankle sprain he suffered in the Philippine Cup finals and got sidelined for the last two games after sustaining the same injury.
Reigning scoring champion Mikey Williams also did not see action in the conference opener due to a sprained ankle and missed two games in the middle of the conference as part of his one-week suspension without pay.
The injury bug bit TNT import Cameron Oliver as well as he went down with a knee sprain at the tail end of the elimination round.
Matt Mobley came in as a last-minute replacement, but his two games with the Tropang Giga both ended in blowout losses to Bay Area and San Miguel.
Other TNT players who missed action due to injuries included Kib Montalbo, Glenn Khobuntin, Brian Heruela, and Ryan Reyes.
The early exit, though, gives the injury-riddled Tropang Giga ample time to recover considering the season-ending Governors’ Cup tips off shortly after the conclusion of the Commissioner’s Cup in January. – Rappler.com