He says it's just natural between coach and player.
“Always naman yun. Always yun. Walang problema dun,” said Khobuntin in between giggles just outside the TNT dugout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
As proof, the former National University stalwart fired three from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter to help the Tropang Giga pull away for a 106-92 win over the Kings and a shot at twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
Khobuntin went 4-of-8 from three-point range to finish with 16 points while grabbing eight rebounds in the blowout victory.
Yet, one sequence that really caught the attention of the fans was Reyes seen shouting at Khobuntin sometime in the second half.
Asked about it, he said it was just a simple case of miscommunication on defense.
“Ano lang, may miscommunication sa defense. Nagkamali lang sa defense,” Khobuntin shared. “Ganun talaga siya (Chot), makakatikim ka sa kanya.”
But it wasn’t personal and just a natural thing in TNT’s scheme of things, so much so that Khobuntin even played better following the incident.
“Wala namang problema sa akin yun. OK lang yun,” he added.
The explosive performance, according to the 25-year-old native of Cagayan De Oro, was also his way of bouncing back from a scoreless stint in the Tropang Giga’s 115-99 loss to the San Miguel Beermen in their previous game.
“Kailangan lang kasi mag-step up kasi talo kami last game versus San Miguel. And hindi naman siguro lagi bad game ang lalaruin mo, di ba? Siguro natapat lang na sa Ginebra nangyari,” said Khobuntin.
With TNT still hit by injuries to some key players, it’s the next man up mentality Khobuntin is applying.
“Di rin fully recovered pa si Troy (Rosario), so step up lang sa spot kung sino meron,” he added.
Khobuntin and the Tropang Giga already completed their elimination round assignment and ended up with an 8-3 record. They take a 12-day vacation heading to the playoffs to give way to Gilas Pilipinas' stint in the Fiba Asia Cup, where Chot Reyes will be calling the shots and Poy Erram is part of the Philippine team.
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