TWO SMC teams down, one more to go as TnT Tropang GIGA march on to the PBA Philippine Cup championship.
The Tropang Giga arranged a title showdown against the Magnolia Hotshots after getting San Miguel out of the way, 97-79, in their winner-take-all encounter on Sunday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Tough as the road was, TnT coach Chot Reyes said the franchise, which also had to get defending champion Barangay Ginebra out of the way at the quarterfinal stage, has to face the card dealt it if it is to end a six-year title drought.
“Ganun talaga e. Any road to the finals you have to go through those three top teams. Nagkataon lang nobody expected Ginebra to end up No. 8 in the eliminations. So nagkataon lang na ganun,” said Reyes, who is back in the league finals for the first time since the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup.
“We knew we have to get by the three if we are to get by the championship.”
As the top-seeded team heading to the playoffs, TnT needed to dethrone Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals, and then survived San Miguel in a best-of-seven semis series that went the full route to earn a return trip to the bubble finals for the second straight season.
It could be fate or the ‘luck of the draw’ as the 58-year-old Reyes said of the Tropang Giga’s journey to a possible championship.
“I don’t think you can recall a time in the past where San Miguel was No. 4 and Ginebra was No. 8 in the eliminations. It’s very difficult,” he said.
But what his team went through might turn out to be a great experience preparing TnT in winning it all.
“Hopefully, that experience makes us better, and makes us prepared for this last series,” said Reyes.
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.