TNT targets 3-1 seed


With Roger Pogoy (in white) frequently seeking to take and shoot photos, TNT got away with Game 3. —PBA IMAGES

Chot Reyes knew right away that matching San Miguel’s firepower would only doom TNT to a losing battle in the semifinals of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.

So he turned to the next logical thing to do, which was to outdo the Beermen.

And it worked well for the Tropang Giga in this four-man duel. Late Friday night, they beat the morale of the Beermen 115-98, giving them a 2-1 lead in the series.

“We know that if we don’t get past San Miguel we won’t stand a chance,” Reyes said shortly after the win. “But even if we beat them, that doesn’t guarantee we’re going to win. So that was our only goal. “

“In the previous two games, we were beaten in the fourth quarter. So we said our goal now was to come out and play the full 48 minutes, ”he continued. “We have to be able to close the games… and thank the players,” they replied. “

The opening minutes of the second half were indicative of TNT’s decision to ensure there were no enthusiastic Beermen rallies. Up 12 at the start of the third quarter, the Tropang Giga applied a stifling defense anchored to a tireless pace of work that produced the desired results: San Miguel’s first five possessions consisted of four turnovers and two missed shots.

This gave the Tropang Giga a 22-point lead and sent a message to San Miguel bench that the Beermen would face that kind of resistance until the finish.


This helped TNT finally find its lineup in the game. TNT has been dialed for a long distance, running 37% there, a huge improvement over Game 2’s horrific 27% clip.

Roger Pogoy and Poy Erram, who both finished with a conference top, and Mikey Williams, who ultimately managed to come out of a scoring crunch, fueled that precise shot.

“If we do our away shots then I think we give ourselves a much better chance,” Reyes said. “That’s the difference.”

The outside shot helped TNT fabricate an offense that gave their defense something to lean on. And the Tropang Giga’s will be hoping to keep building up strength at long distance when they shoot for a 3-1 lead in Sunday’s Game 4 at 2:00 p.m. at Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Erram’s shot characterizes the trust Reyes has in his players, something that rekindles these players’ confidence in themselves. The 6-foot-8 center missed a key three-point point in Game 2 that set the stage for the frenzied end that saw Marcio Lassiter bury the game winner in a 98-96 victory.

“[Coach Chot] just lets you play basketball the right way. For me, it’s the best thing that can happen to a player, if the coach lets you play, ”Erram said.


Meanwhile, Meralco is also looking to use the momentum he created in his valiant position against Magnolia last Friday, and Norman Black intends to do so using every ounce of his players’ zest. “The desire of the players has been there all year and that’s why we’re in this position right now,” said Black, whose club narrowly missed out on last year’s title streak.

The Bolts will be aiming for the equalizer at 4:35 p.m., looking to reciprocate the Hotshots, the only team to have won back-to-back wins in this year’s Final Four.

“No one wants to go on vacation early. We want to make this series as competitive as possible, ”said Black.

Meralco hopes to continue to draw inspired basketball to his crew reeling from an assortment of absences brought on by Raymond Almazan’s ankle injury and two other Bolts field goals as part of health and safety protocols. of the league.

“We went back to series,” Black said. “Basically that’s all we did.

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