Lee Paul Lee of Magolia eludes his defender in thid bit of action in the PBA at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. PBA photo

San Miguel, TNT seek 2-0 leads

August 5, 2022 Robert Andaya 128 views

SAN Miguel Beer and TNT gun for a decisive 2-0 lead in their respective best-of-seven semifinal series against Meralco and Magnolia Pambansang Manok in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Buoyed by similar dominant victories in their series openers last Wednesday, the Beermen and the Tropang Giga look to sustain their tremendous gains and take control against the Bolts and the Hotshots, respectively.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria is pushing his players to display the same intensity when they take the floor anew against the Bolts at 3 p.m.

“We succeeded in Game 1. I hope we can sustain it in the next game, But we have to improve on our defense, and that would be the key,” said Austria in an interview posted at the officialAustria said he is concerned their 121-97 triumph in Game 1 would make them complacent.

“Delikado baka mag-relax. I-a-address ko yan sa kanila.This is just one game of a long series. We’ll try our best na talagang gawin ang game plan,” explained Austria, who is hoping to lead the Beermen to the title which they held from 2014 to 2019.

The San Miguel mentoris again hoping to get strong game from CJ Perez, who scored 10 of his 25 points in the first quarter as the Beermen zoomed to an early 33-16 lead and never looked back.

The Tropang Giga also easily won the best-of-seven series opener, 108-96, but coach Chot Reyes said he expects the Hotshots to bounce back strong.

Game time is 6 p.m.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said the Hotshots must be able to re-gather their legs under them in order to avoid falling into a deeper hole.

“We need to have our legs back para kahit papaano maka-compete kami,” said Victolero, noting the team is coming off just a three days’ rest following their quarterfinal series against NLEX.