Coach Chot Reyes hails TNT's superb shooting vs Magnolia

Published October 23, 2021, 12:18 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

TNT coach Chot Reyes hailed the way his team was able to make 13 three-pointers which led to a 105-93 victory and a 2-0 lead over Magnolia Pambansang Manok in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

The Tropang Giga set the most threes in the first half of a PBA Finals game after knocking down 10 in the first quarter that saw them take a 40-27 lead against the defensive-minded Hotshots who were ranked second in points allowed this conference.

Rookie Mikey Williams made his presence felt while backup guard Brian Heruela also delivered as they hit three triples each while Jayson Castro and Ryan Reyes had two apiece in that first two quarters for TNT, which led 21 and 66-50 at the half.

“(It was) execution and selflessness, the willingness of our players to make the extra pass and find the open guy,” said Reyes.

“We always say in our offense that the ball has energy, so if they’re willing to share it and move then we just find the open men. That’s what led to the hot shooting in the first half,” added the Tropang Giga mentor.

But Reyes was also quick to remind his team that their hot shooting won’t be sustainable, which was certainly the case when Magnolia rallied in the second half to cut the TNT lead to only four in the fourth.

Magnolia’s run fell short as TNT was able to knock down some key shots in the final period to preserve the victory.

“We talked about it (first half shooting) at halftime and we knew it’s not going to last, and in the end, we’re still going to need to defend and rely on our defense to win the game. And that’s what happened.”

TNT broke the old first-half mark of 11 which San Miguel Beer did twice in Game 4 of the 2017 Philippine Cup Finals against Barangay Ginebra and in Game 2 of the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup Finals opposite TNT.

Despite the sizzling shooting, the Tropang Giga wound up with 16, falling two threes shy of tying the record for most in a finals game.

SMB defeated TNT, 127-125, in double overtime of that second finals game in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup after producing 18 treys.