“Every game is one that you have to win” – Cariaso

Mar 7, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – Both BLACKWATER and TNT had extremely fortunate opening games in the PBA Philippine Cup. At the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, both the Bossing and Tropang Giga are hoping for a second straight victory, but a considerable amount of luck will be needed.

After Blackwater’s thrilling 96-93 victory over Meralco, head coach Jeff Cariaso reiterated to his team the need to have a strong sense of urgency as they attempt to avoid losing their next ten games after getting off to a 1-0 start in the previous Commissioner’s Cup.

“The manner in which we think about it, every game constitutes a must-win match, which is the start of the playoffs. That’s the manner in which we take it,” Cariaso has stated.

Cariaso also stresses how important it is for his team to play aggressively for the entire 48 minutes on both ends of the court, in contrast to their opening game where they nearly let a 19-point fourth-quarter lead slip away.

TNT is just as intent on perfecting its own formula. After trailing Rain or Shine for much of the game, the team unleashed an end-of-game surge spearheaded by Calvin Oftana that resulted in a 108-107 narrow victory.

But, Chot Reyes, the new Tropa coach, mostly attributed the victory to the Elasto Painters’ failure to receive 18 of the 42 charities that were given to them. “I suppose we were simply fortunate that whether it rained or not missed their free throws,” he stated.

“We gave an excessive amount of attempts at free throws. If no matter the weather we made half each of the three-pointers that they left out, I think you would have certainly won this tournament easily.”

Reyes continued, “Right now, one of TNT’s top priorities is committing significantly fewer fouls.” “I thought we as a species wanted to go through and revise how we were going to defend and change with the way the officials are conducting it,” he said.

In addition to dealing with TNT’s formidable lineup, which includes Oftana, Roger Pogoy, and Jayson Castro, as well as recent addition Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, who finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds, Blackwater’s worries are far more extensive. Cariaso is also attempting to forge stronger bonds with his current players and new additions.

Bolts and Elasto Painters battle it out for a victorious comeback

Meralco and Rain as well as Shine’s free throws during the PBA Philippine Cup preliminary round match on Wednesday were the story of the game.

While the Elasto Painters made their conference debut against the TNT Tropang Giga on their appalling 24-of-42 clip, the Bolts were burned from the line by recent Blackwater recruit Rey Nambatac (12-of-12).

Rain or Shine suffered a heartbreaking loss of 108 to 107, while Meralco was defeated 96 to 93.

As they battle at 6:30 p.m., both teams aim for a speedy conclusion. The main event in the tournament’s opening weekend schedule in the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila.
After a furious late-game comeback, the Bolts lost steam, fell down by 19 points, and ran out of time. However, they had started the game strongly and had taken the lead, 25 to 15.
Allein Maliksi scored 27 points off of five three-pointers, but his explosive performance was spoiled.

For the E-Painters, losing was a grueling battle that had them in the lead for the whole of the match.

The Tropang Giga welcomed coach Chot Reyes back with an upset victory as the E-Painters’ night was marred by ill-advised free throws.

“We dropped 18 free throws and succumbed by a single point, but we wanted to make it straightforward the power source investigation- out of the 18 even though we should only have missed two, we might have salvaged the game.” Yeng Guiao, the coach of Rain or Shine, said.

The fact that Guiao almost stunned the defending Governors Cup champs Tropang Giga was a bright spot for them.

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