TNT might have been the victors in their 2021 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals showdown against San Miguel Beermen, but Tropang Giga Head Coach Chot Reyes sees this as just the beginning. 

According to the 58-year-old coach, he never considered the matchup as him being pitted against San Miguel Head Coach Leo Austria, noting it was more about the teams than the two of them. 

“It wasn’t between me and Leo, it was San Miguel versus TNT, and for now this series, I think the better team won as the series score will show. But I know we will see each other again in the future, we’ll have those battles once again,” he said. 

“It was TNT vs San Miguel. It was an honor for me and it was Chris Ross, I think, whom I told that it was a privilege coaching against coach Leo. If there was a Game 8, I’m sure they’d make adjustments and kick our butts again,” Reyes shared after TNT defeated the Beermen, 97-79, on Sunday (October 17) at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

This recent win will mark Reyes’ return to the championship of PBA nine years after he left his coaching duties at TNT to focus on his Gilas tactician stint. It was only this year that he came back to coach the team once again. 

“Being in the finals is great, that’s the objective of every coach in the league, but when I accepted the job we’re looking at the long game. We’re trying to build a culture. We’re proud of the tradition, but everything in the past no longer exists for this new culture we’re creating,” he explained. 

Reyes first took the helm of TNT in 2006 and back then he was already a four-time PBA champion. 

It was also during his reign that Tropang Giga became a formidable team in the league nearly completing a sweep of all the titles in 2011, however, they failed to clinch the Governor’s Cup after falling against San Miguel.  

“Getting into the finals is good, but we just want to be better. It’s really that kind of mindset, we want to get better in the finals,” Reyes stressed. 

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