Considering the type of rosters TNT and San Miguel have plus the great imports they were supposed to have signed up, it would have been very foolhardy for anyone to think that either squad would be fighting for their lives late in the elimination round of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Well, look whose backs are against the wall now.
“It is what it is,” TNT coach Chot Reyes said last Sunday evening after his Tropang Giga took an 89-85 loss at the hands of Ginebra that made their path to the playoffs even more difficult.
Reyes found a silver lining in that loss, which makes the firebrand mentor hopeful going into their last two games of do-or-die play.
“I’m very pleased with the effort of the players. We fought hard. We never gave up, we fought until the last [second]. Unfortunately, we came up short.,” he said after the Tropang Giga slumped to a 4-6 record for ninth spot, out of the playoff picture at the moment.
“This is the [kind of] game that we want,” Reyes went on. “And all we can look forward to now is the last two games.”
Import Cameron Oliver has been ruled out because of a knee injury and Reyes will be unveiling Matt Mobley in their 3 p.m. clash with league-leading Bay Area at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
“If he turns out to be good,” Reyes said when asked if Mobley is being eyed to play in the season-ending Governors’ Cup, where the height limit for imports is 6-foot-5.
The Beermen, meanwhile, are at 4-5 and running seventh with three games left. They battle lightweight, yet rejuvenated Terrafirma in the 6 p.m. game where San Miguel has reactivated guard Terrence Romeo.
TNT will need no less than a sweep of its last two games to keep itself in the race for the next round. After the dangerous Dragons, the Tropang Giga battle the Beermen on Saturday.
Having lost only to Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra, Bay Area will be a big hurdle for Reyes and his charges.
The visitors have set their sights on tabbing one of two playoff bonuses. INQ
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