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    Josh Reyes on late SMB run in Game Seven: 'What can you do?'

    Stand-in coach says undermanned TNT just lost steam in endgame
    Sep 4, 2022
    TNT runner-up SMB vs TNT Game 7
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    TNT didn’t have enough firepower when it needed most, contributing to its downfall and losing grip of the PBA Philippine Cup championship against San Miguel.

    Deputy coach Josh Reyes, standing in for head coach and father Chot Reyes (health protocols), said the Tropang Giga just lost steam in the end and couldn’t stand toe-to-toe when the Beermen stepped on the gas pedal in the final 12 minutes of the do-or-die game played before a roaring crowd of 15,195 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

    See: San Miguel saves best for last against TNT to regain Philippine Cup title

    The lights just went out for the Tropang Giga as they couldn’t make a basket in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, and the Beermen were quick to capitalize behind a telling 17-0 blast to turn a five-point deficit into a 101-84 count in their favor.

    It was all over from there but the shouting.


    “A big play in that fourth quarter was I think their first or second possession. We were up five and San Miguel had four straight points, a basket and an offensive rebound off a free throw. That ate up all the effort we did to have that five-point lead going to the fourth period. Almost in one play, na-drain na,” said Reyes.

    He was obviously referring to a June Mar Fajardo offensive rebound off a Vic Manuel miss, which the six-time MVP converted to a basket, with a foul to boot from Roger Pogoy.

    The 6-foot-10 Fajardo bungled the bonus free throw, but Marcio Lassiter grabbed the rebound and made a lay-up as the Beerment suddenly cut the deficit to 88-89.

    With their main cogs playing major minutes, the Tropang Giga just had no more ammunition left to sustain what had been a fiery first three quarters for them.

    “We really had a great third quarter adjusting from the first half, but it required a lot of energy from our main guys who were hurting. So sabi nga ni Jayson (Castro) nung fourth quarter talagang naubos na siya,” said the younger Reyes.

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    As it was, only Castro accounted for all the five points of TNT in the final quarter.

    In contrast, the Beermen began hitting their strides behind the guns of CJ Perez, Fajardo, Lassiter, and Chris Ross.

    San Miguel outscored TNT in the period, 35-8.

    “That was it. We stuck to our game plan. It just so happened they hit those three-pointers in our faces. So what can you do?,” said the Gilas Pilipinas youth team coach. “When they started hitting that, the more our energy dropped.”


      Reyes isn’t about to make excuses, but the absence of key guys Glenn Khobuntin (MCL injury) and the ejection of big man Poy Erram (flagrant foul penalty 2) all the more compounded the case of the team as some of its players like Castro, Mikey Williams, Kelly Williams, and Ryan Reyes all played hurt.

      “We’re missing bodies, we’re missing rotation players that we’re not expecting to be missing,” added Reyes. “I thought the guys played their hearts out.


      “But nothing to do but to get ready for next conference. Hopefully, we’ll get another shot at it.”

      Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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