TNT coach Chot Reyes insists the fact of the matter is that all they've got is a 1-0 lead in their 18-point rout of Magnolia Wednesday night.
"Whether it's by 18 points or by one, it's just one win," said Reyes to stress that the PBA Philippine Cup Finals has just started.
But at least, the Tropang Giga have the momentum and the psychological edge on their side as they tangle with the Hotshots in Game 2 of their best-of-seven title showdown Friday at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
For Reyes, the most important goal is to keep getting better, keep pushing and keep competing.
That should be the case especially if Kelly Williams isn't able to play due to a back injury suffered in the third quarter of their 88-70 romp in the series opener.
Magnolia faces the same issue with Ian Sangalang, who was limited to playing only 10 minutes Wednesday due to his own health problem.
But even minus Sangalang for the most part, the Hotshots won the rebounding battle.
The problem was the Hotshots failing to find the mark in shooting.
"It happens," said Reyes of the Magnolia struggle.
It happened to the Tropang Giga themselves in their up-and-down ride in their semis clash with the San Miguel Beermen. And it serves as a reminder for Mikey Williams and his teammates that they can't lower their guards down.
"For us, what we've done is get the first game. We have to now focus all our energy on Game 2 because Game 1 is now in the books," said Reyes.
"You know what happened in the last series - we would win big one game, we'd lose big the next game. So we just have to be ready for whatever Magnolia has in store for us in Game 2," Reyes also said.
Needless to say, the Hotshots will try to strike back.
"We'll try to bounce back hard in Game 2 and play 'Magnolia basketball' again," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
TNT dominated Game 1 as it held Magnolia to an all-time finals field-goal low of 27.39 percent (20-of-73) while forcing the Hotshots to a league conference-high 28 errors en route to 26 points off turnovers.(SB)