After beating the San Miguel Beermen in the semi-finals, TNT Tropang Giga is just a series away from winning the coveted 2021 Philippine Cup Title.
The team, who previously won against reigning champion Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals, will be facing off against another San Miguel Corporation (SMC) team in the form of the Magnolia Hotshots, which is being led by coach Chito Victolero.
According to TNT Head Coach Chot Reyes, facing the three SMC teams is essential in clinching any PBA title.
“Any road to the title, you have to go through those three tough teams,” he said.
In the last 20 years, the three SMC teams dominated the PBA league, sharing amongst them the championship titles. The only teams that broke this succession of wins are TNT and Rain or Shine, though only a handful of times.
Though some may say that TNT facing off against all three SMC teams may be a work of fate, Reyes believes that it’s all just coincidence.
“Nobody would have ever expected Ginebra to be No. 8 in the eliminations, right? So it was just coincidence,” he said.
“But, it was never, you know, we knew we had to get by the three if we are to get to the championship. But the fact that it is happening, that was really the luck of the draw or the situation,” Reyes added.
“I do not think you can recall another time in the past where San Miguel was No. 4 and Ginebra was No. 8 in the eliminations.”
The former Gilas coach, who took a step back from the league for almost a decade and returned this 2021 as TNT’s coach, is now banking on the experience his team gained battling with the Beermen and the Kings to persevere against the Hotshots.
“Hopefully, that experience makes us better and makes us better prepared for this last series,” Reyes said.
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Image credit: TNT Tropang Giga’s Official Facebook Page