The TNT Tropang Giga will once again look to clinch their spot in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Finals when they face off with the re-energized Magnolia Hotshots in Game 6 of this matchup Sunday night. Will TNT end the week with their Finals tickets booked, or will the Hotshots force a Game 7?
Catch this game live on Sunday, August 14 at 6:30 pm, Manila time.
TNT Tropang Giga (3-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kib Montalbo
- SG: Mike Williams
- SF: RR Pogoy
- PF: Kelly Williams
- C: Troy Rosario
Well, at least TNT still have two lives in the series. With their outside shooting departing them in Game 4, the Tropang Giga fell prey to the Hotshots, 105-97. Mikey Williams showed he’s human after all with 1/9 shooting from deep before finishing with just 13 points, while Trou Rosario made just 2 of 9 3-point attempts, though he did still net 17 points. Overall, the Tropang Giga sank just 7/25 attempts in Game 5, as regression really caught up to them after nailing at least 13 triples in each of the first three games of the series.
Nevertheless, that’s not going to stop TNT from launching those deep bombs. Whether the team is cold or not is beside the point. The Tropang Giga have established deep threats in Mikey Williams, RR Pogoy, Jayson Castro, and to some extent Troy Rosario and Glen Khobuntin, who will stretch the floor regardless of how they fared offensively in the previous contest. It’s also largely the reason why they were able to lose by only eight points despite that horrible outside shooting, as the team still managed to get 33 buckets from inside the arc (68.0 2FG%). The Tropang Giga have no reason to panic and are still looking mighty fine.
Magnolia Timpados Hotshots (2-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Paul Lee
- SG: Jio Jalalon
- SF: Calvin Abueva
- PF: Rome Dela Rosa
- C: Ian Sangalang
Magnolia was not going to let its fans down on a Friday, as the Hotshots ensured that they won’t be a gentleman’s sweep in this semis series with a huge performance in Game 4. A big reason for that is the resumption of Mark Barroca’s resurgence. The former FEU Tamaraw rebounded from a mere 5-point output in Game 3 and blasted TNT for 25 points to lead all scorers from either side. However, Barroca’s explosion on 9/16 shooting from the field also brings to light Paul Lee’s continuing struggle with his shot.
Lee scored 16 points but was just 4/13 from the field, though he did go 7/7 from the free-throw line. Barroca’s scoring, the 31 points combined off the bench from Jio Jalalon and Calvin Abueva, and Magnolia’s excellent perimeter defense easily made up for Lee’s cold shooting, with the Hotshots holding TNT down to just 7/35 from behind the arc. The Hotshots had been toasted by TNT’s 3-point in the previous four games prior to Game 5, so this is a good sign for TNT overall heading into anoter do-or-die scenario this Sunday.
Spread: TNT (-4) covers the spread.
Over/Under: Taking the Under (186.5).