Perez CJ Perez of San Miguel Beerbwill be a marked man. PBA photo

Now or never

May 15, 2024 Robert Andaya 101 views
Jason Castro of TNT to carry fight. PBA photo

IT’S now or never.

Top seed San Miguel Beer battles No. 8 Terrafirma and No. 4 TNT meets No. 5 Rain or Shine in a pair of no-tomorrow matches to determine the remaining semifinalists in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Games begin at 4:30 p.m. with the winners advancing to the best-of-seven semifinal matches.

The Beermen, who finished as the top seed after the elimination round, are expected to bounce back after an unexpected setback at the hands of the eighth-seeded Dyip, 95-106 last Sunday.

The Dyip, who needed to beat NorthPort Batang Pier in a do-or-die-match to make it to the playoffs, hope to continue their giant-killing ways and repeat over the Beermen.

“Sa tingin ko preparado naman kami, pero siyempre kailangan talagang ready kami dahil San Miguel yan,” said Terrafirma coach Johnedel Cardel in interview posted on PBA website.

“Pero sabi ko nga sa mga players, nagawa na natin na talunin sila so kailangan lang higitan pa ang effort na ginawa namin sa Game 1. Baka maka-silat ulit,” added Cardel.

Juami Tiongson, Stephen Holt, and Isaac Go are again expecte dto lead the fight for the Dyip.

Tiongson scored 29 points, Holt added 25 points and eight rebounds and Go contributed a career-high 22 points in Terrafirma’s upset victory.

Cardel emphasizes the need for Terrafirma to adhere to its fundamental strategy, a tactic consistently emphasized by Holt during their practices and team meetings.

“Sabi nga ni Stephen, siguradong ibang San Miguel na ang makakalaban namin sa Wednesday so we have to be ready again. Sabi pa niya, mga instructions ng coaches, mga adjustments, dapat magawa, huwag magka-kanya-kanya. Be a team and for sure mahihirapan sila sa atin.”

In the 7:30 p.m. mainer, TNT Tropang Giga’s big man Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser will be absent in the deciding Game 3 against the formidable Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

Ganuelas-Rosser sustained an ACL injury during Game 2 following a collision with Andre Caracut of the E-Painters.

The other semifinal pairing has already been determined with No.2 seed Barangay Ginebra and No. 3 Meralco battling each other.

The Kings defeated Magnolia, 99-77, while the Bolts eliminated NLEX, 97-93 and 100-81.