The TNT Tropang Giga and the Magnolia Hotshots play the first game in the semifinals of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup this Wednesday. Will the Tropang Giga load up a win right from the get-go? Or, will Magnolia take the win in Game 1?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, August 3 at 3 pm, Manila time.
TNT Tropang Giga (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Brian Heruela
- SG: Mike Williams
- SF: Glenn Khobuntin
- PF: Kelly Williams
- C: Troy Rosario
The Tropang Giga had a walk in the park in the quarterfinal round, as they easily demolished the Converge FiberXers in a 116-95 victory. TNT was just too much for the neophyte franchise, with Mikey Williams torching Converge’s defense for 26 points on 7/13 shooting from the field, including four 3-pointers. Williams will look to re-introduce himself to Magnolia, which the Tropang Giga defeated in their conference opener way back on June 5, 78-72, even without the explosive guard.
Magnolia is arguably the best defensive team in the PBA this conference, as it’s allowing a league-best 93.7 points per 100 possessions, but Williams just seems capable of throwing a wrench into any type of defense. With Williams leading the attack, TNT is fourth overall with a 103.6 offensive rating and third in both true shooting percentage (51.5%) and effective field goal percentage (48.8%)
Magnolia Timpados Hotshots (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Paul Lee
- SG: Jio Jalalon
- SF: Calvin Abueva
- PF: Ian Sangalang
- C: Rafi Reavis
It was not easy but the Hotshots came through in the quarterfinals by taking care of business in three games against the pesky NLEX Road Warriors. Magnolia sent the Road Warriors home with a 112-106 victory Sunday. Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee joined forces for 45 points, while Jio Jalalon stepped up with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals in an all-around effort the Hotshots would like to see from him again in the upcoming series against the Tropang Giga.
It’s easy to point out that the Hotshots is 0-1 this conference versus TNT, but the Magnolia team that lost to the Tropang Giga earlier in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup was not the version it is now. The Hotshots started the conference just 1-3, as they dealt with injuries and inconsistencies, but since then, they have gone 9-1 straight up. Magnolia’s suffocating defense has been driving the success of the team for the most part of the conference, with the Hotshots allowing opponents to score just 83.9 points per game on 38.6 FG% – both no. 1 in the conference.
Spread: Magnolia (+2) covers.
Over/Under: The Over (184.5) hits.