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    Racela admits elims losses to Ginebra, Star prompted TNT to bring in hulking Smith

    Jun 9, 2017

    IT is precisely for situations like this that TnT Katropa decided to bring in a truck of an import in Joshua Smith.

    Coach Nash Racela admitted losses the Texters suffered at the hands of Barangay Ginebra and Star prompted the Texters to give up the talented Dontay Green in favor of the 330-lb. Smith.

    The Texters will meet the Kings in a best-of-five semifinal starting on Sunday after outlasting the Meralco Bolts in overtime, 104-96, in their do-or-die encounter at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    "That's basically the reason why we decided to change, because (with) our previous import, we lost against two San Miguel teams," said Racela, noting the Texters won over a San Miguel Beer side in the absence of big man June Mar Fajardo.

    "So we probably need a different kind of import, that's why we brought in Joshua Smith."

    The 25-year-old Smith was a massive power for TnT in the deciding Game 3 of its quarterfinals series against Meralco. He finished with 31 points and accounted for 27 of the team's 55 rebounds.

    [See Hulking Smith kayoes Meralco]

    The import knew it was a life and death situation for the proud franchise that he went all out to help the Texters turn around what appeared to be a lost game in the second half.

    "In do -or-die games, you want to be all-out there. You don't want to have any regrets. Today I wanted to make sure to score as many points as I can and try to grab as many rebounds," Smith said.

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    The TnT import admitted he hadn't seen Ginebra plays, but vowed to be ready against the top-seeded team in the best-of-five semifinal playoff starting on Sunday.

    "I see they're No. 1 seed for a reason. I have to go watch them (tomorrow), and prepare against them on Sunday."

    And about the celebrated Ginebra crowd?

    "Crowd I'm ok," he quipped. "I've played in bigger crowd."

    Racela could only keep hia fingers crossed Smith will make a difference in the team's semis series against the Kings.

    "We're really hopeful it's gonna be different pagdating sa Ginebra series," he said.

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