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HomeSportChot Reyes lauds TNT for stepping up in do-or-die game

Chot Reyes lauds TNT for stepping up in do-or-die game

TNT coach Chot Reyes in the PBA Philippine Cup

TNT coach Chot Reyes in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Coach Chot Reyes hailed TNT’s attitude of playing like there’s no tomorrow, resulting in securing a spot in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a win over Magnolia.

The Tropang Giga got a 98-93 win over the Hotshots on Sunday at Ninoy Aquino Stadium to not only clinch a playoff berth, but also arrange a best-of-three series with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

“This game was really a do-or-die for us,” Reyes said as TNT became one of many teams that posted identical 6-5 records after the eliminations.

TNT wound up fourth in the standings with the victory, despite a rollercoaster elimination round that included a number of double-digit defeats and comebacks.

Reyes was pleased that the Tropang Giga broke the trend this time while also atoning for a shock loss to the lowly Converge FiberXers on Labor Day, behind veterans Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro.

Williams put together 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Castro made key shots in the second half to eventually finish with 18.

“It’s no secret that I’ve talked about playing a complete 48-minute game,” said Reyes. “All of our games, whether we won it or we lost it, we were down 15 or 16.

“This is the first game that I recall that we were not down by double digits. And that’s the area of growth that we want to achieve,” he added.

But Reyes also hopes that both Williams and Castro are healthy enough to be in their best form come playoff time as TNT eyes a deep run that has been a customary for one of the league’s perennial contenders.

Williams missed the Converge match due to back spasms while Castro not only played through a jumper’s knee, but also hurt his wrist late against Magnolia when he got fouled by Paul Lee.

“We hope for a full Kelly and hopefully a full Jayson if he’s fine [with his wrist], and we bring this [form] into the next games that we are going to face,” said Reyes.

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