TNT Tropang Giga gets a much-needed rest ahead of its best-of-seven finals series in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
TNT head coach Chot Reyes said he was glad over their performance in which they were able to beat Magnolia, 87-74, in Game 6 to punch a ticket to the finals of this midseason tournament.
The Tropang Giga will face the winner between San Miguel Beer and Meralco, who will enter a sudden-death Game 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
Reyes said getting a breather is definitely a major boost to their title bid.
“There’s a thin line where you want the players to go all out but we don’t want to hurt people or cause damage to other people. But that’s the testament to the intensity of the game and its manifesting in the physicality,” said Reyes, who is aiming for his 10th PBA crown.
“Our fitness is very important because aside from the cardio, the physicality can really take its toll.”
“It’s going to be a big deal since a lot of our players are banged up. A break will really come in handy not just to rest but to prepare. I haven’t taken a look at the other series but at least now, we can take a look at them.”
The Tropang Giga went through a lot just to advance to the finals.
After punching the second seed, TNT sent Converge packing in the quarterfinals before beating a tough, rugged and very physical Magnolia in the best-of-seven semifinal series.
Reyes said they can’t take either San Miguel or Meralco lightly, knowing that they will also go all out to win the title.
“The finals will test our versatility as each team presents a different problem. We all know about the problem San Miguel presents with June Mar Fajardo, the team’s size and their overall talent,” Reyes said.
“With Meralco, it’s a different kind of problem with their scrappiness and their defense. They have great size in the wing position. Meralco puts its wingmen on the post so it’s a completely different problem for us and we like to play small ball. It presents a different problem for us.”
“The fact that their series is tied at 3-3 shows you how even it is. For us, whoever it will be, we are going to be tested.”