Disappointed MVP holding off any moves until he gets to the bottom of TNT slide
Coach Jong Uichico and Tropang TNT have now failed to go beyond the quarterfinals in three successive conferences. Jerome Ascano

TROPANG TNT owner Manny V. Pangilinan is hoping to get to the bottom of his flagship PBA team’s recent uncharacteristic string of underachieving performances in the league.

Texters management had a meeting with the coaching staff immediately after the team lost to Alaska, 99-81, in their do-or-die quarterfinal matchup on Friday, kissing their title defense goodbye.

As a result, the Texters haven’t gone past the quarterfinal phase for the third conference in a row or since they won the last Commissioner’s Cup - a streak that hot happened to the proud team in over a decade.

“We’re trying to get to the root of it, trying to understand what’s happening inside the team,” Pangilinan told scribes after their meeting. “Until we understand what the likely causes of this below-par performance for the past year are, we don’t know what to do.”

Pangilinan didn’t have a definite answer on whether or not there will be changes on the roster and the coaching staff.

“We don’t know yet,” the TNT boss said. “It will have to be a conversation between us and the coaches and we need a conversation with the players as well. We need to understand what they’re thinking about.”

Also asked if the setback could be a blessing in disguise for the Texters, Pangilinan gave Meralco as an example.

“Who knows? Remember, Meralco was in the cellar last conference and now they ended number two in the eliminations,” Pangilinan. “So who knows? Maybe there’s a plan, maybe there isn’t.”

Now, TNT management is banking on the Bolts, who will face the Aces in the Final Four, to deliver for the MVP group.

“(It’s) our group’s company, so obviously we’ll be rooting for them,” Pangilnan said. “That’s par for the course.”


Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos