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    TNT braces for possible quarterfinal face-off with SMB after losing shot at No. 2

    Mar 24, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    TNT Katropa’s worst game in the PBA Philippine Cup couldn’t have come at a more unfortunate time.

    The Katropa badly lost to the NorthPort Batang Pier on Sunday, 109-83, that dashed their hopes of finishing at no. 2 and enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

    The team was held to a 39-percent shooting by the Batang Pier (34-of-86) and trailed by as many as 31 points in its final outing in the eliminations. It also finished with a low 26 percent shooting from the foul line (6-of-21).

    The loss snapped TnT’s five-game winning run as it ended up as the third-seeded team with 7-4 record heading to the playoffs.

    Coach Bong Ravena naturally felt disappointed with the outcome of the match.

    “Wala, we’re off tonight. We cannot shoot our free throws, we cannot make stops. Baka one bad night,” he said following the game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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    A win would have put the Katropa in a tie with Rain or Shine at second place and a good shot at notching the no. 2 spot since they beat the Elasto Painters in their lone encounter in the elims, 100-92.

    But all of it is now in the past.

    “Sayang talaga. Pero wala kang magagawa kung ganun ang klase ng laro namin. Hindi ka talaga mananalo,” said Ravena.

    Fatigue could have also caught up with the Katropa since they just played their third game in the last 10 days.

    Ravena isn’t making any excuses, though.

    “Move on lang,” he said.

    Now waiting to welcome the Katropa in the quarterfinals are no less than the defending champion San Miguel Beermen.

    “We have to be ready for San Miguel. Alam ninyo naman ang San Miguel kailangan paghandaan. It’s not easy,” said the TnT mentor.

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    The Katropa and Beermen will tangle in a best-of-three affair in the playoffs.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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