SMART Clark Giga City - With two of its star players down with injuries, the embattled TnT Tropang Giga is looking for the next man up heading into Game 5 of its PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Barangay Ginebra.
The team got quality minutes from back-up guard Almond Vosotros in the fourth quarter of Game 4, of which the Tropang Giga hope they could get even more from their bench as they try to stay alive in the best-of-seven series.
Main man Jayson Castro went out with a knee injury due to bone spurs in the team's 98-88 loss the last time, joining big guard Ray Parks (strained left calf) on the bench as injuries began to hobble TnT's starting unit.
But coach Bong Ravena is confident the Tropang Giga's bench could rise to the occasion the way Vosotros did when he was called in to reinforce the team's injury-plagued backcourt.
"Next man up. Hangga't maaari, lahat ng makikita namin na puwedeng maka-contribute," he said as the Tropang Giga are staring at a 1-3 series deficit.
Guard Roger Pogoy, who's the most consistent TnT player so far in the Finals, definitely agrees with his coach.
"May mga ibang teammate naman kami. Kung may injured sa amin, another guy ang mag-step up," said the 28-year-old Cebuano out of Far Eastern University.
But it's definitely an SOS situation for TnT now that help is immediately needed if it is to extend the title series further.
"Dapat parang you want it more than them. Yun ang sitwasyon," said Ravena. "So you just have to play through it, back against the wall ka na, e"
Pogoy added, "may pag-asa pa." (RG)