TNT coach Chot Reyes said there was no reason to dwell too much on the Game 2 meltdown, knowing that his team was still in a good position to beat San Miguel Beer in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series.
The Tropang Giga rolled to a 115-98 victory Friday, Oct. 8 that gave them a 2-1 lead, but their hold on the best-of-seven series could have been more comfortable had it not been for the collapse two days prior.
SMB avoided going down 0-2 two days prior when it came back from a 19-point deficit to produce a dramatic 98-96 win on Marcio Lassiter’s buzzer-beating putback.
“Actually we were very sad and disappointed after that Game 2 loss,” Reyes said. “But I just reminded the players that even if we take a look before the series and you say lalabanan natin ang San Miguel nang wala si Kelly (Williams who is out due to health and safety protocols), after two games it was 1-all, masaya tayo dun di ba? Malungkot ba tayo doon o masaya? Then sila nagsabi, ‘Masaya tayo.’
“I just reminded them of that. One-all naman ngayon e. Masakit lang yung pagkatalo, but in the end, it’s still the same. It’s one-all. So we should still be very happy about where we are and our position. So sabi namin let’s just look forward to Game 3 and figure out how we can be better.”
TNT got to an 11-0 start and never looked back as it led by double figures for most of the way even as SMB didn’t show any threat of mounting a comeback with the way it played in the second half.
RR Pogoy once again topscored with 26 points but Poy Erram’s 21-point, 13-rebound effort was one of the keys in TNT’s triumph.
Having rookie Mikey Williams produce 20 points despite a 7-of-22 clip following his offensive struggles in the first two games was also vital for the Tropang Giga.
On the defensive side, TNT forced SMB to 24 turnovers which were converted into 29 points. TNT also had 27 second chance points and 16 fastbreak points.
“We cannot be better than this team in terms of talent and size, so we just focused on putting in better effort,” said Reyes. “It’s just better effort, better collaboration, better teammanship and better communication. I think in the end, that’s what happened.”