PBA: Dickel has made TNT basketball fun again and the KaTropa are back in the Finals

Paul Lintag on Aug 02, 2019 09:04 PM
PBA: Dickel has made TNT basketball fun again
In only his third conference, Dickel has led the KaTropa back to the PBA Finals with a chance to win the franchise’s first championship since 2015.

After an initial struggle, missing the playoffs altogether in last year’s Governors’ Cup, TNT active consultant Mark Dickel has started to figure things out.

In only his third conference, Dickel has led the KaTropa back to the PBA Finals with a chance to win the franchise’s first championship since 2015.

Dickel, who’s pretty much TNT’s de facto head coach, has transformed the KaTropa into a solid defensive unit without compromising their explosiveness on offense.

The result is a Finals appearance in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup as a no. 1 seed, dethroning champion Ginebra in the semifinals on the way.

“It feels great [but] it’s not easy. I don’t take any of that granted. I’ve played forever and it’s not easy to get into the Finals,” Dickel said.

“So to get there, you know, in your first year? It’s great, we got a great opportunity, I just don’t want to let this one go. Maybe at the end of this conference, I’d look back, be happy or sad, or whatever. But right now, I just want to keep our eye on the prize,“ he added.

In restoring the KaTropa’s status as a PBA juggernaut, Dickel says it was important for TNT to enjoy playing basketball once again.

TNT still had some winning players present from its old dynasty and the young players they’ve added since were winners before turning pro as well.

Meshing all of that together required some time and numerous adjustments. However, it all boiled down to having fun.

“I can’t really speak for what happened before. But look, I know that so much about basketball is a feeling. The camaraderie in the team, the interaction between the players, the coaches, the management—everyone. When that’s right, basketball’s fun. So I try to stress that it should be fun every day,” Dickel said.

“And we got winners on that team. They just haven’t won before they’re young. So we kind of have an older group and a younger group so it’s just a matter of meshing them a little bit better,” he added.

 

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