^

Sports

Tropang Giga, Beermen wage war in 'toss-up' of a PBA finals

Olmin Leyba - Philstar.com
Tropang Giga, Beermen wage war in 'toss-up' of a PBA finals
The TNT Tropang Giga and San Miguel Beermen see this explosive best-of-seven confrontation for the PBA Philippine Cup as “too close to call.”
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – The battle line is drawn as TNT and San Miguel Beer, two high-powered squads brimming with talent and resolve, get set to dispute the PBA’s crown jewel.

On one side stand the Tropang Giga, flag bearers of the PLDT and MVP Group who are out to extend their reign in the pro league's most prestigious tournament.

On the other are the Beermen, the banner holders for the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) conglomerate who are on a spirited quest to return to the top after a three-year dry spell.

The protagonists themselves see this explosive best-of-seven confrontation for the PBA Philippine Cup that kicks off Sunday as “too close to call.”

“It’s 50/50," TNT coach Reyes said during Friday’s pre-finals presscon at Novotel. "The important thing for us is to stay patient and understand how difficult this series is going to be. We know how strong the other team is and we just need to be prepared.” 

He was echoed by Austria.

“Both teams are really competitive and are really preparing very hard for this series. We’ll see what happens,” the SMB mentor said.

The two multi-titled tacticians have at their disposal some of the best players in the pro league today.

Jayson Castro, Mikey Williams, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram and Kelly Williams spearhead Reyes’ TNT crew. June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Jericho Cruz and Vic Manuel banner Austria’s SMB bunch.   

“If you take a look at both sides, it’s very evenly-matched. San Miguel is not only June Mar. The strength of San Miguel is their depth. We can’t just focus on June Mar because the other guys in the perimeter will kill you. Then there’s Rodney (Brondial), Vic and Mo as well. You can see the magnitude of our problem,” said Reyes. “But I have great faith in my team. This team simply doesn’t quit, they fight until the end.”

For Austria, stopping TNT spitfire Mikey Williams alone won't do it. "Mikey is not TNT; all of their players present a threat. They have a lot of players who can score a lot."

San Miguel is embarking on this mission with essentially a new-look lineup. Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot, two key elements of their All-Filipino five-peat and last championship in the Commissioner’s Cup in 2019, are already gone.

“There’s a lot of similarities and there’s a lot of differences, too (between the old champion team and the current batch). We’ve all evolved. The Death Five was at the time of pre-pandemic and it’s like post-pandemic now. At the end of the day, we want to win four more games. The next seven games are going to be tough. But we’re ready for the challenge,” said Ross.

BEERMEN

CHOT REYES

LEO AUSTRIA

PBA

PBA FINALS

SAN MIGUEL

TNT TROPANG GIGA

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with