It has, indeed, been quite a while for TNT coach Chot Reyes.
And although he marked his return to the PBA with a victory, an 86-79 decision against Terrafirma in the Philippine Cup on Saturday, Reyes was far from pleased—and not just with the Tropang Giga.
“I’m unhappy,” said the multititled coach and former national mentor. “I don’t think I was as prepared as I should’ve been for this game. Because, as I’ve said, it’s [been] eight, nine years since my last PBA game. So I’m learning as well.”
Reyes is not too high on the victory over a “tall, strong and well-coached” side that gave his wards all it could handle at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.“Obviously we’re happy we won. But we’re kind of disappointed with the way we played in the last quarter and a half of this game,” he said in the customary postgame chat.
“I thought we weren’t faithful to how we wanted to play this game.”
The Tropang Giga bucked a lethargic start and built leads of as many as 22 points in the third period behind national team veterans Jayson Castro, Poy Erram and Troy Rosario.
The Dyip, however, found their groove down the stretch, drawing timely baskets from, Juami Tiongson, Rashawn McCarthy and Aldrech Ramos to narrow the gap to just 84-79 with a little over two minutes left in the match.And that’s what irks Reyes, the man behind the club’s four titles—three of which came in an all-Filipino conference.
“There’s no excuse for poor effort. We might not play well, we might miss shots, but there’s never an excuse for poor effort,” he added.
Castro led the way for TNT with 17 points. Erram, Rosario and Roger Pogoy all finished with 10 or more to help in the scoring effort.With Joshua Munzon, the top pick of this year’s draft misfiring in his debut, Terrafirma turned to its veteran crew of Ramos, McCarthy, Tiongson and Andreas Cahilig who all turned in double-digit scores.
Their efforts gave Reyes a good reference point for TNT’s process this season.
“[That] kind of effort is not going to make me feel secure when we play the top teams in this league when we play the elite teams,” he said. INQ
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