MANILA, Philippines – It was plain and simple for TNT coach Chot Reyes: the Tropang Giga were not up to the task.
Reyes reflected on their campaign as TNT squandered a twice-to-beat advantage and bowed out of the PBA Governors’ Cup following back-to-back quarterfinal losses to Barangay Ginebra.
Having beaten the Gin Kings in all of their three prior meetings this season and winning their last five games, the Tropang Giga were expected to advance for a shot at a title sweep after they ruled the Philippine Cup.
“You take the good with the bad. I thought we had a good run in the all-Filipino but that should not be anything that we should be comfortable with. We wanted to do much, much better here in this tournament,” Reyes said.
“We talked about it as a team, we knew that all the other teams were going to come at us hard in this conference just because we’re the defending all-Filipino champions and we were not up to the task.”
It did not help the Tropang Giga that they needed to change reinforcements at such an inopportune time, activating Leon Gilmore for the do-or-die game as Aaron Fuller suffered a calf injury.
Gilmore still produced 14 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals, but these numbers pale in comparison to Fuller’s averages of 17.4 points, 16.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.2 blocks.
Reyes, though, refused to blame it on the import switch.
“It is a team game, and as much as the import plays a very important role in conferences like this, we all have our own shortcomings, coaches included. The local players know that, the coaches know that,” Reyes said.
“Unfortunate for this to happen this way, but that is sports. Last time were able to take them out, this time they took us out. Who knows what is going to happen the next time.”
Count on Reyes and his wards to come back stronger as TNT tries to defend its Philippine Cup throne next season.
“All we can do now is prepare and take a look at the future and see how we can continue to get better – better than what we were this conference.” – Rappler.com