PBA: Reyes not putting too much stock in TNT's big margin of victory in Game 1

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2021 05:56 PM

TNT coach Chot Reyes. PBA Media Bureau.
TNT coach Chot Reyes. PBA Media Bureau.

As impressive as they were in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals, the TNT Tropang GIGA have to move on immediately and pour their attention to Game 2.

This is the mindset of head coach Chot Reyes, who knows all too well that a big margin of victory in one game does not promise the same result in the next.

"Whether you lose by a big margin or you lose by a point, it's still 1-0," Reyes said Wednesday, after TNT demolished the Magnolia Hotshots, 88-70, in the first game of the best-of-seven series.

"So for us, all we've done is get the first game. We have to now focus all our energy to prepare for Game 2… Game 1, it's in the books," he stressed. "We don't have to worry about this game anymore. So, we'll just make sure that we move on and think about Game 2 now."

The Tropang GIGA were on point defensively in Game 1, limiting the Hotshots to just 27% shooting from the field -- the lowest in the history of the PBA finals. They raced out to a 20-2 lead in the first quarter, and were never really threatened in the wire-to-wire victory.

But Reyes is the first to warn that there is no assurance that the rest of the finals series will play out this way.

For proof, he only needs to look at their semifinals match-up against the San Miguel Beermen, where they alternated blowout wins before the Tropang GIGA emerged triumphant in Game 7.

"You saw what happened in the last series, right? We'd win big one game, we'd lose big the next game," Reyes pointed out.

The first two games of the semis series were close: TNT escaped with an 89-88 win in Game 1, and San Miguel completed a comeback to snatch a 98-96 triumph in Game 2.

But from Game 3 onwards, the series became an exchange of blowout wins. TNT blitzed SMB, 115-98, in Game 3, only for the Beermen to clobber them, 116-90, in Game 4. A 110-90 triumph in Game 5 put TNT on the brink of the finals, only for San Miguel to overpower them anew, 103-90, in Game 6.

Game 7, after initially shaping up to be a back-and-forth affair, became another blowout for TNT, 97-79.

TNT has now won both of their games against Magnolia this season -- they also won their elimination round encounter, 83-76 -- but Reyes believes Game 2 of the finals will be a different story.

"We have to be prepared," Reyes said. "We have to be ready for whatever Magnolia has in store for us in Game 2."