WHETHER Meralco’s hot shooting from the outside is a fluke or not is set to be known as TNT Katropa seeks to stay alive and restore order in its PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series against the Bolts on Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Finally acknowledging they’re heavily favored in the best-of-five series, the Texters are eager to live up to their tag as they take on the intrepid Bolts in Game Four at 7 p.m. in the hope of tying the series and dragging it into a deciding game.
“We never thought it was going to be easy,” TNT coach Jong Uichico insisted after their 119-113 Game Three loss. “Alam naman namin na we’re the favorite, ‘di ba? Alam naman ng lahat ‘yun, but give credit also to how Meralco is playing also.”
“We’re playing well naman, but of course, they’re playing well,” he added after his team which dropped only one match the entire eliminations lost two successive games to Meralco. “They made those shots.”
Reynel Hugnatan suddenly turned into a stretch forward, hitting five three-pointers that highlighted the Bolts’ torrid shooting that saw them knock down a franchise-record 17 treys to take a 2-1 lead.
But Uichico remains confident of the Texters’ chances of turning the series around.
“It was a tough game. Hugnatan made those three-point shots, but syempre, it takes three games naman to get to the next round,” the champion coach said. “We just (have to) take care of the next game and see what happens.”
It’s easier said than done as the Texters are expected to make adjustments, although just minor, for a Bolts side that’s aiming for its first finals berth in franchise history.
“It’s hard to make major adjustments, but you do have to make adjustments,” Uichico said.