TNT's chances against SMB were blurred the moment Castro got hurt
Paul Lintag on Feb 21, 2017 08:52 AM
Against the two-time defending champion Beermen in a do-or-die situation, Nash Racela's TNT went to work without top star Jayson Castro.
No matter how you look at it, TNT was doomed even before Game 7 started against San Miguel Beer.
In fact, the KaTropa were doomed even before Game 6 ended.
That's because against the two-time defending champion Beermen in a do-or-die situation, TNT went to work without top star Jayson Castro.
And with one day preparation against San Miguel, it was simply a losing proposition for the flagship MVP franchise.
The Blur is such a big factor of the TNT system it's hard to imagine the team functioning right with his sudden absence.
"It's hard to sustain. It could have been a different story if Jayson played," head coach Nash Racela said after TNT's elimination from the All-Filipino.
"We just tried to play our cards correctly but it did not work. Obviously we missed Jayson but of course we don't want to take anything from the San Miguel win," he added.
Castro, who ran the KaTropa offense to near perfection in this series, missed Game 7 due to a hamstring injury. He was in street clothes as his teammates tried to take the the Beermen dynasty Monday night.
For one half, the KaTropa looked like they could manage to beat San Miguel. However, the Beermen practically won the series with a huge third-quarter effort, outscoring TNT by 15, 36-21.
The champs shot 79 percent from the field in that stretch.
"I was hard. Again, if you play a team like San Miguel na nakaka-shoot ng ganun, mahirap talaga," Racela said.
"We tried to force them to miss but mahirap. And we had our open shots na hindi rin namin na-shoot," he added.
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