TNT made quite an achievement in its first season under coach Nash Racela, and the KaTropa are hopeful of doing better in the 2017-18 PBA season.
“Baka matulayan na namin ‘yan,” said TNT main man Jayson Castro, looking forward to landing on top after two Final Four finishes and a runner-up windup in the season that’s about to end.
“Hindi na masama ang performance namin this season. Doon sa mga talo namin, there were lessons learned. At nag-improve ang chemistry ng team,” Castro also said, optimistic they will be a contender in the coming Philippine Cup.
They earned much appreciation from their team management on the admirable stand they put up in their last game in the season.
Sans an import in the last three quarters, the Texters fought amazingly but failed to save the night in losing steam and energy in the payoff period.
They went down to a 105-115 loss that dashed what could have been a first ever title duel with sister team Meralco.
“Our heads may be bowed in sadness, but not in shame,” said team owner Manny V. Pangilinan as he talked to the team in the dugout after the game.
“Boss MVP congratulated the team and coach Nash for their valiant effort. He was proud of them,” said TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio.
Racela himself was satisfied with their showing in the season.
“I’m happy that for three conferences, we were able to advance to the playoffs – twice in the semis, one in the finals,” he said.
“It just so happened that in all the three conferences, we played a San Miguel team, and you know how tough it is to play a San Miguel team. So it’s really hard,” he added.
The breaks didn’t favor TNT.
In the Commissioner’s Cup finals, they battled San Miguel Beermen with a handicap of an injury to their import.
On Sunday, they lost import Glen Rice to technical infractions just 10 minutes into the contest.
“Needless to say, mahirap manalo without an import in a game in an import-reinforced tourney,” said Castro.
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