first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netWith TNT emerging as one of the early contenders this 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, coach Nash Racela knows that his team could not afford to drop its third loss in four games when it clashes against Blackwater on Wednesday.But he’s not batting an eyelash knowing how resolute his team is.ADVERTISEMENT “We’ve realized that this team has been really good in making comebacks ever since. After a loss, we’re always confident that our team will play better the next time,” he said.The KaTropa are coming off a 76-88 defeat to San Miguel in Iloilo, where the team engaged in a tight battle until the final five minutes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkRacela is aware that TNT lacked the endgame swagger which led to a 1-2 record early on this conference. But he believes that his players are mature enough to see their deficiencies and expects more from his side in the game against the Elite.“I really felt we gave ourselves a good chance in that game. In the last five minutes of the game, the game was tied and then we fielded in supposedly our best five against their best five but the finishing kick was the problem. Hopefully, we end better in this next game,” he said. TNT will be tested against a Blackwater side which is fresh from a confidence-boosting upset over Ginebra, 94-77, last Friday.“We just reminded our players that Blackwater is really an elite team. It’s in their name: Blackwater Elite,” he said. “They beat Ginebra, they beat Rain or Shine, and they almost beat Meralco, so they could have been 3-0 at this point.”Though traditionally, TNT has had the upper-hand in its past clashes against Blackwater, Racela reiterated to his wards that this season, no team is a pushover and it can’t underestimate anyone if it wants to come out victorious.“I think Blackwater really deserves a lot of respect and that’s something that we are emphasizing our team: to really give them respect that they deserve,” he said. “We just hope that again, we treat them like San Miguel. Hopefully, we give our best effort.”ADVERTISEMENT Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Abu Tratter making most of chance to train with Gilas Pilipinaslast_img read more