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Family Reunion


Brandon, Matt reunite; Chot back at TNT

BRANDON Ganuelas-Rosser gets his baptism of fire when TNT Tropang Giga battles Rain or Shine in the opening day of the PBA Philippine Cup. | Daily Tribune file photo

Games today:

(Ynares Center)

4:30 p.m. — Blackwater vs Meralco

7:30 p.m. — TNT vs Rain or Shine


Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser will reunite with his older brother, Matt, while head coach Chot Reyes will make a return when TNT Tropang Giga battles Rain or Shine in the opening salvo of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup today at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Action starts at 7:30 p.m. with the Tropang Giga tipped to draw attention following their acquisition of Ganuelas-Rosser from NLEX last Monday.

Prior to that, Blackwater and Meralco will tip things off when they collide at 4:30 p.m.

Ganuelas-Rosser, the top overall pick of the 2022 draft, was traded by the Road Warriors to Blackwater in exchange for Ato Ular, Yousef Taha and the first-round choice in Season 51.

The Bossing, however, shipped him to the Tropang Giga in exchange for injured big man Justin Chua, Jaydee Tungcab and the first-round pick in Season 51.

The 6-foot-7 Ganuelas-Rosser is expected to boost the TNT frontline that suffered a heavy blow following the knee injury of Poy Erram.

But more than that, his reunion with his older brother will be the center of attention as they become the latest brothers to play in the same team after Ricky and Mollet Pineda at U/Tex, Chito and Joey Loyzaga at Ginebra, Jerry and Harmon Codiñera at Purefoods and Anthony and David Semerad also at TNT Tropang Giga.

Aside from his brother, Ganuelas-Rosser will also be reunited with Reyes, who coached him when he joined Gilas Pilipinas in its successful title conquest of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia last year.

Ganuelas-Rosser is expected to get his baptism of fire as a starter for TNT in which he will share the rebounding chores with former Most Valuable Player Kelly Williams, veteran Jewel Ponferada, Henry Galinato and newly-acquired Barkley Eboña.

Winning their first game, however, will not be easy.

Rain or Shine is set to resume its winning ways after head coach Yeng Guiao handed the keys of the offense to young guns like Keith Datu, Santi Santillan, Gian Mamuyac and Andrei Caracut. In the previous Commissioner’s Cup, in fact, the Elasto Painters won six of their last seven games before being booted out by eventual champion San Miguel Beer in the quarterfinals.

Guiao hopes that their strong run will spill over to the Philippine Cup.

“We could have had a deeper run to the playoffs last conference had Tree Treadwell arrived earlier for us or Keith Datu didn’t miss some of the games,” said Guiao, beaming with confidence over their chances in the all-Filipino wars.

“But we feel good about our chances in the Philippine Cup while we patiently await Luis Villegas’ complete recovery.”

Villegas, a 6-foot-7 rookie first-round selection, will miss the Elasto Painters’ first two games as he has yet to fully recover from a knee injury he suffered while playing for University of the East in college. He, however, is expected to return in their third game of the season-ending conference.

But while the main game looks to be an interesting showdown, Blackwater is likewise expected to draw much attention following the acquisition of two new key players.

Two-time MVP James Yap and his former Rain or Shine teammate, Rey Nambatac, will add depth to the Bossing, who are out to improve their 1-10 showing in the Commissioner’s Cup.

They will face a Bolts team that is also banged up and worn down competing both in the Commissioner’s Cup and the East Asia Super League the previous months.

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