The TNT Tropang Giga can’t afford to lose to the Barangay Ginebra this Friday, as that would all but doom their chances of winning the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup title.
Will the Tropang Giga’s bubble be a prick away from popping with a loss? Or, will TNT make things more interesting by cutting Ginebra’s series lead in half?
Catch this game live on December 4 at 6:00 pm, Manila time.
The TNT Tropang Giga (0-2)
Things are not looking good for the Tropang Giga, as they find themselves in a 0-2 hole in this Finals after losing in Game 2, 92-90. What made the loss extra painful for TNT was the fact that they blew a 15-point lead in the third quarter.
The loss only came when the Tropang Giga finally saw RR Pogoy break out of his slump, as the former FEU Tamaraw scattered 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting from the field, including a 5-of-9 line from deep. Simon Enciso, meanwhile, chipped in 15 points.
Although his huge offensive effort was put to waste in Game 2, Pogoy will enter Game 3 knowing he’s got his rhythm again, and that’s going to be more important for TNT if Bobby Ray Parks Jr. misses his second game in a row.
Parks sat out Game 2 with a calf injury, but thanks to Pogoy’s explosion, the Tropang Giga were able to dominate Ginebra for a big portion of the contest. With or without Parks, TNT has enough talent to keep up with Ginebra, especially if Jayson Castro plays to his ability. Castro scored just 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting in Game 2.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2-0)
Living up to their famous battle cry, the Barangay never folded when they were down big in the second half of Game 3. Instead, they leaned on Stanley Pringle, LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson to lead the way to a successful comeback.
Pringle finished the game with 34 points, Thompson hit another clutch 3-pointer, and Tenorio drained five free throws in the final 18 seconds of regulation.
In the win, Ginebra proved that its poise and experience can counter the stack of talent over at the side of TNT, and the Barangay have shown that in back-to-back fashion in this series. The steadiness of the Barangay’s floor generals has been a thorn in the side of TNT, and we expect that to continue.
Ginebra’s bench also answered the call in Game 2. After chipping in a measly output of 10 points in Game 1, Aljon Mariano and the team’s second unit roared back with a 40-point production compared to just 15 from TNT’s bench. Mariano scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting and earned praises from head coach Tim Cone.
It’s all about who’s going to step up for Ginebra right now, as their stars seem to be able to deliver when it matters the most. If Ginebra’s peripheral guys could duplicate their robust Game 2 numbers, the Barangay can put TNT to sleep again on Friday.
Starting defensive specialist Ryan Reyes didn’t work out for the Tropang Giga in Game 2, as he was eaten alive by Stan the Man, but things could be different in Game 3 if Bobby Ray Parks Jr. returns to action.
However, even if he does return, we don’t think he’ll be 100 percent ready. Ginebra is smelling blood right now, and we are predicting the Barangay to take Game 3, 95-91.