Fajardo June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel will be one of the players to watch. PBA photo

Beermen, Tropang Giga favored

July 26, 2022 Robert Andaya 386 views

TOP seed San Miguel Beer and No.2 seed TNT Tropang Giga hope to finish off their respective quarterfinal opponents in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen will take on No. 8 Blackwater Bossing, while the Tropang Giga will battle No. 7 Converge FiberX in a pair of quarterfinal matches pitting the two highest-placed teams against the two lowest-placed teams at the end of the elimination round.

Both the Beermen, who finished with a league-best 9-2 win-loss record, and the Tropang Giga who wound up with an 8-3 slate, enjoy twice-to-beat advantages over the Bossing and the FiberXers, respectively.

Game time is 3 p.m.

A win will send June Mar Fajardo-led Beermen to a Final Four showdown opposite the winner of the Meralco-Barangay Ginebra tussle.

The Bolts currently lead the best-of-three series, 1-0.

San Miguel is eager to rediscover its winning ways in the All-Filipino.

The Leo Austria-mentored Beermen held the coveted All-Filipino Cup, also known as the PBA Commissioner Jun Bernardino trophy, for five straight years since 2014.

If they win, the Tropang Giga will face off against the winner of the Magnolia- NLEX best-of-three quarterfinal series.

The Hoshots lead the series.

TNT coach Chot Reyes, however, admitted the Tropang Giga need to raise the level of their play to finsih off the FiberXers.

“Iyung effort namin, our game in the elimination round, is not going to be enough come the playoffs,” said Reyes in an interview posted at the official PBA website.

“So iyun ang focus talaga namin, na we have to raise the level of our game,” added Reyes.

Reyes, a six-time Coach of the Year, said Converge will be a tough opponent.

“Malakas sila sa offensive rebounding, they’re a big team and well distributed ang minutes nila so mapapalaban kami ng husto nito,” explained Reyes.

“We have to keep them off the glass, we have to do a good job on the rebounds. Number 1 sila sa fastbreak points, eh. So obviously we have to stop them there as well. Isa pang importante, kailangan at least ma-match namin ang energy nila.”

TNT defeated Converge, 86-83, in their lone elimination round game last June 12.

Games Wednesday:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. — TNT vs. Converge
6 p.m. — San Miguel vs. Blackwater