TNT, SMB BEGIN PBA PH CUP BEST-OF-7 FINALS SERIES
MANILA -- Defending champion Talk ‘n’ Text and San Miguel Beer begin their best-of-seven finals series today at the Araneta Coliseum with the former aiming to retain their crown and the latter wanting to claim the most prestigious title in Asia’s first pioneering professional basketball league.
Game Sunday (Araneta Coliseum)
6 P.M. — San Miguel Beer vs. Talk ‘n Text
MANILA — Defending champion Talk ‘n’ Text and San Miguel Beer begin their best-of-seven finals series today at the Araneta Coliseum with the former aiming to retain their crown and the latter wanting to claim the most prestigious title in Asia’s first pioneering professional basketball league.
Motivation will be a lot different for the two franchises as TNT Tropang Giga is eyeing to remain as champion and assert its dominance of the Philippine Basketball Association PH Cup conference while the Beermen try to annex the crown and perhaps, start a dynasty having installed themselves as All-Filipino conference Kings for five straight seasons before from 2015 to 2019.
But that goal might be derailed by TNT being the PBA’s top team and defending champions as the Tropang Giga are, they are considered as the winningest team in the PH Cup having established a dynasty by also winning five championships in four years from 2009 to 2013,
And the coaches of both teams are very aggressive in delivering home the goods and winning the highest honors.
Four of TNT’s titles came from head coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes, who has never lost in an all-Filipino championship showdown, while even more impressive is his SMB counterpart Leo Austria, who for five straight seasons (2015 to 2019) led the Beermen in winning an all-Filipino title and keep his team’s immaculate finals record in the Philippine Cup.
But by the end of this championship series, only one of them will keep their perfect record.
Stars of both squads will now have the chance to showcase their skills and shine in the limelight, hoping they would be able to step in the shoes of the PBA’s former superstars like Robert ‘Bobby’ Jaworski and ‘El Presidente’ Ramon Fernandez, now a commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission.
TNT has spitfirish Jayson Castro, who, though, having already passed the role of lead scorer and facilitator to new franchise player Mikey Williams, has proven time and again that he remains to be the heart and soul of the Tropang Giga.
“I’m OK with my new role. I’m comfortable with it,” Castro disclosed.
He had been twice named as Best Point Guard in Asia and had won the most number of championships in the TNT franchise with seven.
“I’ll just have to embrace that role and lead my teammates. But against San Miguel, we really need to play together as a team because our opponent is definitely a much stronger team in order for us to have a chance in the series and at the same time, find a way to stop their explosive players,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer’s top gun, Christian Jaymar ‘CJ’ Perez, is playing in his first championship appearance and he is out to prove he is still the scoring champion even when he was still playing for a doormat team in Terrafirma and he has now moved on to join powerhouse San Miguel..
“I’m nervous, to be honest,” Perez enthused at the press launch of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
“Of course, I’m so excited, and finally, I’ll have the chance to play in the finals. For sure, it’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to follow the game plan of Coach Leo,” he added.