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Sandy Arespacochaga on TNT's record-setting turnover control: 'That's terrific'

Assistant Coach Sandy Arespacochaga described TNT's ball control against San Miguel in Game 4 as "terrific." Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Assistant Coach Sandy Arespacochaga had to take the backseat anew for TNT when Head Coach Chot Reyes returned to the team on Sunday night for Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Arespacochaga was named the interim coach for Games 2 and 3 of the championship series against San Miguel while Reyes was in Zouk Mikael, Lebanon with Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers game against Lebanon.

However, the Tropang Giga suffered defeats in both matches, and they entered Game 4 down 1-2 against the Beermen in the best-of-seven series.

So Reyes' return was timely for TNT—and record setting at that.

The Tropang Giga only committed three turnovers all game long, a new PBA single-game record for the least errors at least since the league began counting turnovers in 1984.

Prior to that, the same PLDT franchise was the last team to only had four turnovers in a single game, the previous record, accomplishing the feat in a 2015 game against the NorthPort franchise.

Arespacochaga could not help but be marveled with how TNT had a superb ball handling.

"That's terrific. That's very hard to do especially if it's a 48-minute game against very good defenders," Arespacochaga said after the Game 4 win that knotted the finals series at two games apiece.

[Related Story: TNT triumphs in Chot Reyes' return, spoils June Mar Fajardo's victory party to tie PBA PH Cup Finals anew]

What made him more impressed was that the Tropang Giga did that against the Beermen's tough defenders like Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, and June Mar Fajardo.

"San Miguel has got great defenders," Arespacochaga further said.

However, he added that the record-setting feat was just a bonus if Reyes is to be asked.

"Coach Chot isn't asking for perfection naman. He's asking if we can limit yung mga useless turnovers, yung mga lack-of-focus turnovers. We're very happy that the players responded," Arespacochaga quipped.

Out of those three errors, TNT only had one unforced turnover against two SMB steals.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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