It’s been a heavyweight battle so far in the semifinals series between the San Miguel Beermen and the TNT Tropang Giga. Who will take Game 5 and move a step away from booking a ticket to the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals?
Catch this game live on October 13, 6 pm, Manila time.
The San Miguel Beermen (2-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Ross
- SG: Terrence Romeo
- SF: Marcio Lassiter
- PF: Arwind Santos
- C: Junemar Fajardo
The Beermen responded in the strongest of ways to their Game 3 loss to TNT, as San Miguel dominated the Tropang Giga from start to finish in their 116-90 win in Game 4. That’s a huge win for the Beermen, considering that they will have momentum going into pivotal Game 5. The Beermen were led in Game 4 by Mo Tautuaa, who came off the bench and fired 25 points to go with nine rebounds. Head coach Leo Austria’s decision to start Alex Cabagnot over Terrence Romeo paid massive dividends, with Tautuaa exploding and Romeo pumping out 16 points.
Cabagnot repaid the trust of his coach by putting up 12 points in a spot start. TNT is surely going to make defensive adjustments, but there’s only so much the Tropang Giga can do when both Tautuaa and Junemar Fajardo flex their muscles. With Kelly Williams’ status still doubtful and JP Erram questionable with a facial injury, SMB’s big men can continue to roll. Then there are Romeo, Marcio Lassiter, and Arwind Santos, who can stretch TNT’s defense with their outside shooting. San Miguel shot 51% from the field in Game 4.
The TNT Tropang Giga (2-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Brian Heruela
- SG: RR Pogoy
- SF: Mikey Williams
- PF: Troy Rosario
- C: Dave Marcelo
As mentioned, the availability of the pair of Kelly Williams and JP Erram is up in the air for Game 5, as of this writing, so the load should only get heavier for the TNT’s backcourt. RR Pogoy and Mikey Williams can’t afford to go cold again, just like they did in Game 4 in which they combined for just 13 points; Williams went just 3-of-12 from the field, while Pogoy was 1-of-10 from the floor. Dave Marcelo will have to step up, especially defensively.
Containing Fajardo and Tautuaa is an unenviable task, but TNT doesn’t have plenty of options in the frontcourt. Chris Javier is another potential magic bunot for head coach Chot Reyes in Game 5. At the end of the day, the trio of Williams, Pogoy, and Jayson Castro needs to make its presence felt early in Game 5. Castro led TNT in Game 4 with 15 points to go with four assists in 20 minutes.
Spread: TNT is all banged-up. The Beermen are smelling blood in the water, but don’t just count the Tropang Giga out yet. Mikey Williams, Pogoy, and Castro are still lethal and if there’s a game they should click at the same time, this could be it. Take the Tropang Giga to win and cover (+1.5).
Over/Under: The past two games of this series have both been blowouts that saw the winner score over 110 points. Game 5 will be a tenser battle. Take the Under (188.0).