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    PBA Preview: TNT KaTropa turns to youth, speed to make up for lack of size

    Dec 21, 2017

    TNT KaTropa

    Roster: Harvey Carey, Frank Golla, Alex Nuyles, Mo Tautuaa, Ryan Reyes, Norbert Torres, Anthony Semerad, Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Kelly Williams, Alfrancis Tamsi, RR Garcia (Injury reserve)

    Key additions: Mac Tallo, Sydney Onwubere, Monbert Arong

    Significant losses: Kris Rosales, Rudy Lingganay, Danny Seigle, Levi Hernandez

    AMONG the three title favorites in the PBA Philippine Cup, only TNT KaTropa lacks ceiling. 

    But while they don't have the luxury of size as Ginebra and San Miguel do, their firepower is aplenty with Jayson Castro and last season’s Rookie of the Year Roger Pogoy in tow.

    Knowing they don’t have the size to match other contenders, TNT coach Nash Racela has added new weapons in their arsenal by signing rookies Mac Tallo, Sydney Onwubere, and Monbert Arong.

    "Obviously we can no longer go taller than we are now. Again, we just have to make do with what we have," said Racela. 

    "We tried to plug the holes na kulang kami. We tried strengthening our rotation via guys who could relieve the other guys with good minutes. Younger rotations."

    Aside from upgrading its lineup, TNT went to Lithuania during the offseason for a training camp that saw the KaTropa play against youthful but strong teams. 

    The Euro trip, said Racela, will go a long way as far as the development of his young team is concerned.

    "It’s good. You know, how young players perform, they play every possession hard. That’s something we’re trying to learn—putting value in every possession," he said.

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    "It’s a learning process, because that’s how EU teams play. From the start, the play hard. Walang pogi basketball." 

    How well they have improved since then remains to be seen. The Texters kick off their season against Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. 

    "ROS has improved a lot. They’re all getting deeper in every position, they’re getting younger," he said. 

    "It’s gonna be tough playing them. I remember playing the last time we played them in the last conference’s elims. We lost by a big margin. That should give them confidence."

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