TNT tries to pick up pieces against Korean No. 1

TNT's Jalen Hudson |  EASL swimming pool photo

TNT’s Jalen Hudson | EASL swimming pool photo

UTSUNOMIYA, JAPAN—As the best team to date at the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors Cup at home, TNT certainly didn’t come close to even coming close to expectations.

And TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa knows it.

“This is a disappointment for me and the whole team,” Lastimosa said after a rough 99-66 loss at the hands of Utsunomiya Brex at the start of their East Asian Champions League (EASL) Week campaign on Wednesday in Nikkei Arena here. “I just think we should play a little bit better to make the tournament a little bit more interesting.

“I’m not making excuses, but it shows that they (Brex) are also very, very well trained.”

And on Friday at 5pm (Manila time), Tropang Giga faces South Korea’s top team, SK Knights, which need to take them down for a chance to win in a possible draw.

“My only concern when entering [Friday’s] the game is how well we can adjust the calls and how to play the game [here]” he say. “If we can adjust [right away]And if we can actively defend, I think we’ll be fine.”

Lastimosa messed up allowing contact in this tournament versus the PBA’s calling the game.

“Calls in [PBA] It’s very different here, so we have to get used to a little more physical play, which allows for more exposure here,” he said.

Jalen Hudson was TNT’s only bright spot in the match against B.League champion Brex, finishing with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.

Lastimosa did not mention how Daniel Ochefu, TNT’s second import, played. He finished with just nine points and struggled against Utsunomiya’s towering forward line of Jerrett Grant and Josh Scott.

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