By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) resumed its pandemic-hit All-Filipino tournament last week in Bacolor, Pampanga, with the TnT Tropang Giga and Terrafirma Dyip making major strides.
Both the Tropang Giga (6-0) and the Dyip (3-4) went 3-0 in their respective assignments in the opening week of the PBA restart at the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) Gym to give their causes a big boost.
Already one of the top teams when action was halted on Aug. 1 over the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the National Capital Region, particularly the Delta variant, TnT has picked up from where it left off in the resumption now in Bacolor.
The Tropang Giga pounded on the Blackwater Bossing, 96-76, on Sept. 1 then followed it up with another convincing victory over the Meralco Bolts, 91-76, on Sept. 3.
It played the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok on Sept. 5 in a battle of leading teams and came out victorious as well, 83-76, behind a balanced attack on both ends.
The three wins not only kept its unblemished record in the ongoing tournament intact and fortified its hold of the top spot, but also sustained its winning momentum heading into the homestretch of the elimination round.
While they are happy with where they are now in the tournament, TnT coach Chot Reyes said they are not getting ahead of themselves and underscored the need to continue to work on their collective game to achieve their goals.
“It’s very important that we stay on an even keel. We’re a work in progress. We’re not thinking of the record, not thinking of anything else except to get better,” said Mr. Reyes, who is in his first conference back with the team he coached from 2008 to 2012.
The 6-0 start incidentally is the best to date in his PBA coaching career.
PLAYING AS A TEAM
Terrafirma, meanwhile, is working on turning things around in the resumption of play.
The team opened its Philippine Cup campaign with four straight losses before its ongoing three-game win streak.
It scored huge upsets over the San Miguel Beermen, 110-104 in overtime, and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, 95-90, in that order in their first two games back then scored a 96-84 win over Blackwater on Sunday.
The streak has pushed the Dyip to solo seventh place in the standings and in the mix for a spot in the playoffs.
“I just told them to play as a team. Help one another and stay focused,” said Terrafirma coach Johnedel Cardel of the mind-set they have.
He also asked his team to treat every game like a championship, giving their best effort and being ready game in and game out.
PBA Philippine Cup action continues on Wednesday, with the schedule of games to be released on Tuesday.
Two games were postponed last week in accordance with health and safety protocols of the league.