Jun 22, 2022

TNT vs ROS: Tropa striving, E-Painters in early must-win situation

FROM a fall, one must stand and strive to live on -- in life or in sports.

That's one of the messages of Chot Reyes in his speech after receiving the Baby Dalupan Trophy as Coach of the Year winner in the PBA Press Corps Awards Night at the Novotel Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City Tuesday night.

And from their fall in the recent Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, Reyes and some of his TNT stalwarts have picked themselves up and are moving on.

As the Philippine Cup titleholders, they're working hard and trying to stand their ground against the challengers even with a crippled lineup.

Breaching the .500 mark the last time out, the Tropang Giga seek to get going, targeting a second straight win and a 4-2 win-loss slate as they tangle with the struggling Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

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Mikey Williams, the Season 46 Scoring Champ, Rookie of the Year and member of the Mythical Five, is back in town. There's a chance of him finally suiting up again if he comes to terms with the management in a contract re-negotiation in time.

The Elasto Painters have far bigger woes, getting off to a wobbly season start on the departure of Javee Mocon and injuries to key players Gabe Norwood and Rey Nambatac.

Norwood and Nambatac have returned to action in their last game, but the E-Painters still failed to arrest their skid, reeling to a third straight loss on a 106-102 setback versus Phoenix Super LPG.

Rain or Shine's lone win thus far came via a 79-77 nail-biter over Converge on a clutch trey from Beau Belga at endgame.

Needless to say, coach Chris Gavina and his troops must start winning or they face the spectre of an early exit in the tourney.

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Last time, the Elasto Painters figured in the middle of the chart in the elims, and battled the Magnolia Hotshots in a best-of-three quarterfinals. Beaten two in a row, Rain or Shine finished sixth in the tourney ruled by TNT on a dominant 4-1 win over Magnolia in their best-of-seven finale.(SB)