TNT head coach Chot Reyes was left frustrated by his team’s effort in their Game 2 loss against Magnolia, saying that the Tropang Giga cannot win against the Hotshot using talent alone and that they must outwork them to regain the series lead come Game 3.
While pleased to see TNT mount a comeback behind Mikey William’s second half explosion. Reyes stressed that his wards cannot fall behind early and expect to recover in the end, especially against a talented and experienced team like Magnolia.
“We gave ourselves a chance in the end but it’s hard to give a good team like Magnolia a 20-point buffer. We dug ourselves a hole, we almost climbed all the way back but like I said, we shouldn’t allow that to happen against a good team like this,” said Reyes in the aftermath of TNT’s 92-88 loss.
Reyes added that TNT also looked a step slower compared to Magnolia in getting the loose balls and securing the offensive rebounds. The Tropang Giga also had a hard time breaking the Hotshots’ pressure defense which leaned on their pesky and quick guards in Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon and Rome Dela Rosa.
“They won 50-50 balls. In a game like this, that is determined by what, two possessions. How important were those 50-50 balls and the offensive rebounds,” said Reyes.
“We turned the ball over 22 times so they took 20 more attempts than we did. There's no way to win a game like that, that’s the story of the ball game, we lost in the effort department and we turned the ball over too many times. Credit to their defense,” he added as TNT, after recording just 15 turnovers in its Game 1 win, was forced to 22 errors in the Game 2 loss.
Reyes emphasized that talent is not enough to beat Magnolia. He urged his team to match the Hotshots' efforts, if not surpass it to have better chances of winning in the crucial third game.
“We have to out-effort them, we have to outwork them, if they outwork us then we have no chance at winning. Our team cannot out-talent teams. We don’t have size to overpower other teams. We don’t have the talent of the other teams so if we are beaten in the effort department, we have no chance,” he stressed.