MVP wants to know root cause of TNT’s below-par performance

Will there be a bold coaching change or will there be player movements involving the Tropang Texters?

Team owner Manny V. Pangilinan is not rushing things as far as Tropang TNT is concerned, saying he and the rest of the coaching staff are taking a calculated approach following the team’s exit in the PBA Commissioners Cup on Friday night.

“We are trying to get to the root of it,” said Pangilinan, 69, after emerging from a closed-door meeting with Tropang TNT coach Jong Uichico and the coaching staff following an 81-99 setback dealt by Alaska in their knockout quarterfinals duel at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

“We are trying to understand what’s happening inside the team. Until we understand what are the likely causes of these below-par performances the past year, we don’t know what to do. We need to understand first,” he added.

Pangilinan was visibly disappointed with the Texters’ latest performance that he already left his seat at the patron side behind the team’s bench early in the fourth canto when they were trailing by as many as 19 points.

“Obviously, it was a disappointing game tonight as it was in the second game,” he said. “Alaska played well.”

Popularly known as MVP in sports and business circles, Pangilinan is ruling out any moves involving Tropang TNT yet.

“We don’t know yet. It will have to be a conversation between us, the coaches in the first instance. We need the conversation with the players as well. We need to understand what they are thinking about,” he said.

With Tropang TNT and another sister team, NLEX, already out of contention for the mid-season’s ultimate prize, Pangilinan intends to extend their full support to Meralco, which will take on Alaska in a best-of-five semis series starting on Monday also at the Big Dome.

“They are part of the company’s group so obviously we are rooting for them. That’s par for the course,” said Pangilinan with a smile.

Pangilinan is hoping the Texters could draw inspiration from the Bolts, who won only a single game in the Philippine Cup but bounced back in the Commissioners Cup, even finishing second overall after the single-round eliminations.

“Who knows? Remember Meralco was in the cellar the last conference. I think they only won one game and then now, they ended No. 2 in the eliminations and they are in the semifinals. Maybe there’s a plan (for Tropang TNT),” said Pangilinan. – By Jerome Lagunzad

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