Meralco Meralco players celebrate. PBA photo

PBA semis wars begin

August 3, 2022 Robert Andaya 346 views

THE stage is set for the much-awaited semifinal wars in the PBA Philippine Cup with top seed San Miguel Beer taking on Meralco and No. 2 seed TNT battling Magnolia in a pair of exciting best-of-seven duels at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Giga, who slammed the door on Converge FiberX in the quarterfinals, and the Hotshots, who eliminated NLEX, open hostilities at 3 p.m.

It will also be a rematch of last year’s finals, in which TNT emerged as champion after beating Magnolia in only five games.

“We’re playing the hottest team in the league, winning nine of their last 10 games,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes in an interview posted at ghe official website..

“It will take our best to be competitive,” added Reyes, noting the Tropang Giga also defeated the Hotshots, 78-72, in their lone elimination round meeting last June 5

His Magnolia counterpart, Chito Victolero,expects a good fight between two teams with similar plsying styles.

“It’s gonna be a dogfight. Magandang match-up ito kasi halos pareho ang playing styles. Defensive mindset, pressure defense, kasi ang mga guards nila pesky din,” said Victolero.

“It’s a long series naman pero of course, important pa rin Game One,” added Victolero.

“We’ll try to see first kung ‘yung ginawa naming preparation para sa kanya okay. Kapag hindi back to the drawing board.”

The 6 p.m. second match will pit another San Miguel team, SMB, against another MVP team, Meralco.

The Beermen are fresh from a week-long breather after topping the eliminations and beating Blackwater Bossing, 123-93, in their quarterfinals showdown.

The Bolts, on the other hand, are still on cloud nine after finally getting past long-time playoff nemesis, Barangay Ginebra, in their quarterfinal duel.

”We go over the hump against Ginebra but it’s just one step. There’s another goal that we haven’t reached yet, which is getting to the (All-Filipino) finals,” said Meralco standout Chris Newsome after the Bolts’ series-clinching 106-104 victory over the Kings last Sunday.