It’s been four years since TNT had monopoly of the Philippine Cup when the then-Tropang Texters won the title three straight years from 2011 to 2013.
After TNT’s time at the top, San Miguel emerged as the new ruling party in the All-Filipino Conference, replicating the three-peat success.
Since then, TNT has not figured consistently in conversations about front runners but this is where head coach Nash Racela just wants his team to be.
Of course, that is before they win a potential title.
“TNT has always been under the radar, which is good, but not being talked about doesn’t mean we cannot contend,” said Racela Thursday in a message from Lithuania. “The media writes and talks about the perceived favorites, that’s a given, but it doesn’t mean we are not part of the conversation.”
What Racela meant as “favorites” are the reigning champions Beermen and last year’s runner-up Ginebra.
Both San Miguel and Ginebra boast a dominating front court with the reigning five-time MVP partnership of June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos leading the Beermen and the towering pairing of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar holding for the Gin Kings.
Although Racela doesn’t have the same big men who can dominate the post—-the closest he has is 2008 MVP Kelly Williams who’s essentially a stretch four—-he promised the Katropa will put on a fight.
And Racela isn’t even thinking about San Miguel and Ginebra with the KaTropa holding training camp in Lithuania.
“They’re the least of our concerns right now,” said Racela. “What’s important for us is to get better and maximize our potential. I’m sure we’ll be able to compete with them despite our lack of size.”
The KaTropa are spending two weeks in the former Soviet Union bloc nation where it will play several tune up games against BC Astana and other clubs.
Lithuania also served as a training ground for Gilas Pilipinas in 2013.
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