Staying hungry and staying fit are a challenge.
This is what’s confronting the TNT Tropang Giga now after they posted their fifth straight victory in the 2020 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
“You still need to have that hunger. They know what’s at stake, what we’re here for in the bubble,” said Tropang Giga coach Bong Ravena after they repulsed Blackwater Elite, 109-96, Thursday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena.
This put the Tropang Giga ahead of another unbeaten squad, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings (4-0).
With many players getting injured, Ravena said the physical therapists in the team are doing a great job in keeping the likes of RR Pogoy, Kib Montalbo, JP Erram, and Jayson Castro in good shape.
This time, it was Castro who didn’t suit for the game.
Averaging 16.0 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in the last four games, Castro was sidelined due to tightness in his right calf.
Erram, the Tropang Giga’s big man, is coming off a knee injury last week, while Montalbo and is recovering from plantar fasciitis after their first game.
Even without Castro, Pogoy, who just got off a slight ankle problem, went on to show the way for TNT with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Troy Rosario put in a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Ray Parks added 18.
“We’re happy for the win. Jayson, at least he was able to rest. We cannot risk playing [him], forcing him to play,” added Ravena.
Tropang Giga finished the night with 46 percent from the field, and 13-for-35 from the three-point range.
A game against the NLEX Road Warriors will be the Tropang Giga’s next assignment on Monday.