CHOT Reyes has put his finger on TNT’s two main problems and is out to remedy them.
“We have to address our depth, we have to address our rebounding,” Reyes said in Noli Eala’s Power & Play podcast last Saturday. “We’re hoping to bring in a couple more guys and hopefully we can talk about them in a week or so.”
How to go about it is the five-time Coach of the Year awardee’s main task, one that he readily identified after being asked to return and steer TNT anew just over a week ago.
“I found that we were No. 1 in starters’ scoring, but No. 10 in bench scoring. So obviously, we need to address our depth,” related Reyes. “We also found that our guards outrebounded our bigs. So we have to address our big man rebounding.”
It didn’t help any that Kelly Williams retired just before the Philippine Cup bubble. Then veteran frontcourt man Harvey Carey followed suit last month.
The team acquired Poy Erram prior to the start of last season and Dave Marcelo, formerly with Phoenix, was picked up from free agency earlier this month.
But the Tropang Giga still need at least another center as stressed by them having to use Jay Washington, a natural power forward, to relieve Erram at the slot during the Clark tourney.
The areas that Reyes and the TNT can explore now are the unrestricted free agent market or a trade, especially since the Tropang Giga can only pick at 35th overall in the March 14 rookie draft.
“We’re trying to make a deal to take advantage of this deep draft,” said Reyes, who won half of his eight championships with the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned flagship franchise.
“But as I told management, we have the team to compete. I don’t know if it’s a team that can take us over the top, but it’s our job as coach to mold this team… make it better and punch above its weight.”
Reyes has yet to meet with his staff and players, but he also expressed willingness to work with the pieces already handed to him.
“I’m here to get the best RR Pogoy, the best Troy Rosario, the best Rayray Parks, so when they get together, to get the best TNT team. And then I’m excited to work with Kib Montalbo, with Poy Erram and other less-known players,” he said.
“So okay, let’s see what makes these guys tick? And can we make them all (play) together to make the whole better than the sum of its parts,” added Reyes.
“In the end, that’s the job of a coach, to make the whole perform greater than the sum of its parts.”