TNT coach Chot Reyes said the Tropang Giga’s first win in the 46th PBA Season is just the first step in their rebuilding process.
Reyes, who returned as TNT’s coach since steering the champion squad nine years ago, believes that there is still a lot to learn especially with the current gelling of the team.
“We’re at the very start. We have just taken our first step as a team today,” said Reyes in a post-game interview after TNT edged the Terrafirma Dyip, 86-79, in the Philippine Cup on Saturday, July 17, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. “So kami lang ang team, [I believe] there is not a team in the PBA who has a tuneup game prior this season but kami we’re really from scratch.
“This was really our first experience coming together to play as a team. ‘Yong amuyan, ‘yong chemistry, ‘yong kindatan sa loob parang malayo pa kami doon. There’s still a lot to learn,” added the former national team tactician.
On his end, Reyes admitted that he himself is part of that learning process despite the warm welcome with TNT.
The game against Terrafirma marked Reyes’ first coaching gig since stepping down as mentor of Gilas Pilipinas in 2018.
“Obviously, it feels good but it’s part of the learning process here, getting back into the groove of preparing for games. I’m not happy, I don’t think I’m as prepared as I should for this game because it’s been eight to nine years since my last PBA game,” explained Reyes, who led TNT, then Tropang Texters, to three Philippine Cup titles (2009, 2011, 2012) and another one in Commissioner’s Cup in 2011.
“I’m learning as well and we’re just happy that our entire mindset is to get as many wins as we can while in this learning process because we’re all learning about each other. I’m learning to try to get back to the groove of things.”
And despite the win, Reyes wasn’t satisfied with how the game turned out especially at the endgame where Terrafirma, thanks to the efforts of Philip Cahilig, Rashawn McCarthy and Juami Tiongson, closed in at 84-79 with more than two minutes left.
While there’s definitely plenty of time to shake off the rust, the eight-time PBA champion coach said “there is no excuse for poor effort.”
“We might not play well, we might miss shots, but there’s never an excuse for poor effort. That’s where my disappointment comes from and I thought that Terrafirma did a great job of beating us in the effort department especially in the last part,” added Reyes. (Carlo Anolin) ###