TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa refused to get carried away by their strong start in the Governors’ Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association.
Lastimosa said there’s still a lot of work to be done as they seek to bring back the glory of the Tropang Giga in the season-ending conference.
In particular, Lastimosa wants more from their import — Jalen Hudson.
In their first two games, Hudson averaged 29 points on 40 percent shooting from the rainbow area while pulling down 12 rebounds, 4.5 assists, a steal and a block per game.
The Tropang Giga are clashing with NLEX at press time in a battle of unbeaten teams.
Lastimosa believes that the best is yet to come for Hudson, who averaged 19.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists while playing for Hapoel Galil Elyon in the Israeli League.
“He can still give more, for sure,” said Lastimosa, who is no stranger to import with rock-solid production after playing with six-time PBA champion Sean Chambers back in the day.
“We are winning, so it’s not glaring, but we need him to be more effective on both sides of the ball. He has shown an ability to attack the basket.”
Lastimosa is facing a huge challenge.
After serving as assistant coach of NLEX under Yeng Guiao, Lastimosa joined the Tropang Giga last June to serve as team manager.
But with longtime head coach Chot Reyes being tasked to focus on his Gilas Pilipinas duties in preparation for the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this month.
The Philippine will be facing Lebanon on 24 February before clashing with Jordan on 27 February at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
Lastimosa stressed that their strong start is no big deal.
“It’s just the start,” he said in a message to Daily Tribune.
“It’s no big deal.”