Lastimosa, TNT target win No. 2 vs Rain or Shine

There's no time for celebration even after new head coach Jojo Lastimosa picked up his first win at the helm as TNT immediately buckles down to work when it guns for win No. 2 against Rain or Shine in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Friday, Jan. 27.

TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa (PBA Images)

The Tropang Giga look to keep the momentum going after a good start to their redemption bid against the Elasto Painters who, on the other hand, are in search of their first win in the 5:45 p.m. encounter.

Serving as a fitting appetizer is the first game between Phoenix and Blackwater which are also both hoping to barge into the win column after their collision at 3 p.m.

While happy with what he saw from his players just last Wednesday, Lastimosa felt like the team still needs some fine-tuning, especially on the defensive end, which, according to him, was where disaster struck last conference when TNT missed the playoffs.

“We scored more than how I expected us to score but again we have to look at the defensive side because what happened last conference was our defense was suffering. We're giving up too many points and it actually happened in the first half when we gave up 60 points and we were looking like a layup line in the first half,” said Lastimosa.

Under his tutelage and new active consultant Slavoljub Guronovic, Lastimosa said he wanted to employ a pressuring type of defense – something that was exploited by the guards of Phoenix in that 123-119 win.

“We wanted to be more of a pressure type defense and sometimes, it created problems because we deny too much and we leave the penetrators without any help so that's something we wanted to correct,” he added.

On the other hand, Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao wanted to see more from his import Michael Qualls who, after exploding for 50 points in one of their tuneup games, was limited to just 14 points on a measly 3-of-13 shooting from the field in that 105-87 opening day loss to Meralco.

There were encouraging signs, however, for the Elasto Painters with Rey Nambatac and returning James Yap making their presence felt with stellar performances although Rain or Shine needs to be a little bit better especially on the defensive end against a potent scoring machine in the Tropang Giga which has import Jalen Hudson, RR Pogoy, Jayson Castro and Mikey Williams.