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CLASH OF TITANS

‘I told the players that for us to win in this game, we had to play for all of 48 minutes and not let them get a chance to take advantage of our lapses.’

Games today:
(Philsports Arena)
4:30 p.m. — Ginebra vs Blackwater
6:45 p.m. — TNT vs San Miguel

It’s going to be an emotional and action-packed encounter as crack teams TNT Tropang Giga and San Miguel dispute the solo lead in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup today at the Philsports Arena.

Action fires off at 6:45 p.m. with the Tropang Giga and the Beermen seeking their eighth win in nine games and a fitting send-off before taking a two-week break to participate in the East Asia Super League Champions Week in Japan.

Prior to that, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Blackwater collide in the first game for a victory that would put them back on the winning track.

The Kings, the reigning Governors’ Cup champion, had already lost two games in a row, putting pressure on them to come up with a convincing victory to regain their confidence and get back on the winning track.

While TNT is the hottest team in the league with five straight victories, San Miguel is considered armed and dangerous after beating Ginebra late Friday, 102-99, behind the explosive performance of import Cameron Clark.

Clark, a late replacement for Marcus Weathers, delivered 35 points and 10 rebounds while providing a lot of spunk and grit down the stretch for the Beermen, who drew solid numbers from CJ Perez, June Mar Fajardo and Vic Manuel.

“I told the players that for us to win in this game, we had to play for all of 48 minutes and not let them get a chance to take advantage of our lapses,” said San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent, whose import is averaging close to 40 points per game in their past two matches.

True enough, the Beermen will have to play hard from start to finish to overcome the red-hot Tropang Giga.

The Tropang Giga delivered a masterful performance when they scored an impressive 111-104 victory over Meralco last Friday despite the absence of Roger Pogoy.

Pogoy, who registered 40 points in their previous win over the Bossing, suffered a severely-sprained ankle during their game against the Bolts.

Still, even without Pogoy, the Tropang Giga displayed its deadly form with do-it-all import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson flirting with another triple-double performance while Calvin Oftana and Jayson Castro stepped up with solid numbers.

Hollis-Jefferson, who replaced the explosive Jalen Hudson, delivered 34 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists while Oftana and Castro chipped in 19 and 16 markers, respectively for the Tropang Giga, who are bracing for another intense showdown with the Beermen.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa said.

“It’s really a big challenge as San Miguel is playing really, really well, but we’re ready.”

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