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    PBA yearender: TNT KaTropa struggles in season of change

    Dec 30, 2018

    (EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the seventh of a series of PBA yearenders where we recap each team’s season and grade their performance from A to D.)

    IF there's one word to describe TNT's 2018 following a coaching change, big trades and disappointing ends to their conferences, it's tumultuous.

    On the court, the KaTropa struggled and recorded an 18-19 win-loss slate in 2018 despite making it to the playoffs twice this year.

    TNT stunned in Commissioner’s Cup

    The KaTropa clinched the third spot in the elimination round with an 8-3 win-loss record but the impressive campaign ended in tatters as sixth-seed San Miguel overcame No. 3 TNT.

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    Nash Racela relieved

    After leading the KaTropa to playoff appearances in five conferences he has been at the helm, Nash Racela was dropped by TNT, promoting Bong Ravena to head coach.

    Despite an impressive record, TNT started out the Governors’ Cup with a 1-4 record forcing the KaTropa to make a change.

    Continue reading below ↓

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    New Zealand’s Mark Dickel as TNT consultant

    The KaTropa hired Mark Dickel as consultant to help Ravena.

    Dickel, a two-time Olympian, has an impressive resume, having coached the national team of Albania and a head coach of New Zealand ballclub Canterbury Rams.

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    KaTropa miss playoffs for first time in three seasons

    A contender for years, TNT missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 Governors’ Cup after the KaTropa finished the season-ending conference with a 4-7 win-loss slate.

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    Terrence Romeo acquired, then traded

    The KaTropa made a change last April, acquiring Terrence Romeo from GlobalPort. Yousef Taha was also part of that deal that sent Mo Tautuaa, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick to the Batang Pier. The experiment was short-lived as the former Far Eastern University standout was traded in December to San Miguel.

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    GRADE: C

    Continue reading below ↓

    It was a year of change for the KaTropa, and the flagship franchise of the MVP group aims to return to their glory days next season.

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