PBA 44 review: Burning out

Paul Lintag on Feb 10, 2020 08:41 AM
PBA 44 review: Burning out
TNT was the no. 1 team in terms of wins in 2019, both in regular season and accumulated. However, the KaTropa have zero championships to show for, extending the team's title drought to four years. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

You thought the PBA's 43rd season was a long one? 

Yeah, the PBA's 44th season had it beat.

The 2019 PBA season started at the Philippine Arena on January 13, 2019. It officially ended January 17, 2020 when Barangay Ginebra won the Governors' Cup Finals.

Ironically, the Gin Kings won the first and last games of the 2019 season.

Anyway, the point is the PBA's 44th season was a marathon. And before a new one starts, it's time to take a look at how all 12 teams fared in the past year.

Today, we look at the TNT KaTropa.

 


BURNING OUT

2019 was a good year for TNT considering they had such a down performance in 2018.

But based on the standards of the flagship MVP franchise, 2019 was a rather disappointing season for the KaTropa.

TNT was the no. 1 team in terms of wins in 2019, both in regular season and accumulated.

However, the KaTropa have zero championships to show for, extending the team's title drought to four years.

TNT got a six-game winning streak in the Philippine Cup and pushed then four-time champion San Miguel Beer on the ropes before losing in the quarterfinals.

In the Commissioner's Cup, the KaTropa went 10-1 and rolled to the PBA Finals.

TNT had a 2-1 lead and had the Beermen on the ropes. The story ended the same way though as San Miguel got the better of the KaTropa in the playoffs again.

Come the Governors' Cup, the KaTropa went on a strong 7-0 run to start the conference, dethroned champion Magnolia in round 1, but ended up blowing a 2-1 lead over Meralco in the best-of-5 semis.

Yeah, not exactly the most ideal year for TNT. Burning out in the end when it counts is not good.

 


TNT KaTropa in the PBA's 44th season


Philippine Cup: 7-4 (4th place, lost in Quarterfinals)

Commissioner's Cup: 10-1 (1st place, lost in Finals)

Governors' Cup: 8-3 (3rd place, lost in Semifinals)


Overall: 25 wins and 8 losses. Three playoff appearances, one Finals appearance.

 


OUTLOOK:

By racking up the most number of wins last season, the KaTropa proved that they're back to true contender status.

However, racking up wins when it counts is still important too.

Having a top-heavy rotation, especially in the playoffs, and burning out in the end means that TNT is lacking one, maybe two key pieces. How they acquire that is a question.

If they don't get pieces however, how to win with their current core could be an ever bigger question for the KaTropa.

 

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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