A DEEP and talent-laden backcourt has become the biggest strength of TnT in its unbeaten run in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy and prized rookie Mikey Williams stand at the forefront of a guard rotation that has become the main strength of the Tropang GIGA during their run of six straight wins in Chot Reyes' comeback conference.
“It’s just good for us to have kasi kapag titignan mo ‘yung line-up namin, hindi talaga kami malakas sa malalaki,” Reyes said. “We really don’t have a dominant offensive post threat. We have to find ways to compete and I think it’s in the backcourt, sa guards namin.”
Williams, selected No. 4 overall in the last draft, is averaging 14.6 a game. Pogoy is racking up 13.5 points per game, and Castro is putting up 13.0 points and a team-high 4.7 assists, often in an off-the-bench role.
Brian Heruela, Kib Montalbo, Chris Exciminiano, Ryan Reyes, and J-Jay Alejandro have also been contributing solid minutes, giving Reyes the luxury of trying several backcourt combinations during games.
“The reason why we have so many guards in the team is so that we can rotate them and spread the minutes around,” said Reyes.
Jayson and Mikey show
Most crucially, Castro and the rookie Williams have in no time clicked on the floor.
“Jayson is a tremendous general and a leader of the team. He is our quiet team captain and he definitely keeps us on the line. It’s just wonderful to learn from such a great mind. I feel that when we continue to play together," said Williams.
""I feel like the more we continue to play together, the more you can see the chemistry just grow and continue to get better game in and game out,” said Williams.
It's not just the star pair for TnT. Reyes was also quick to commend the work of the second- and third-stringers. He pointed to Ping Exciminiano who may not be playing at all, but continues to push Castro and Co. in practice.
“I think the most important thing is ‘yung ginagawa nila Brian at Kib. They push Jayson and Mikey in practice," he said.
"We have guys like Exciminiano for example na talagang dumepensa sa practice, pinapahirapan sila Jayson at Mikey and then sila Roger Pogoy. That’s very important for us,” Reyes added.
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