The last two teams stadnigns in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup are going to go at it in a best-of-seven series that kicks off this Sunday. Will the TNT Tropang Giga draw first blood? Or, will the San Miguel Beermen take the early 1-0 lead?
Catch this game live on Sunday, August 21 at 6 pm, Manila time.
TNT Tropang Giga (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kib Montalbo
- SG: Mike Williams
- SF: RR Pogoy
- PF: Kelly Williams
- C: Troy Rosario
The Tropang Giga will come into this finals series with a fresher set of legs, as they took just six games to take care of business in their semifinal series against the Magnolia Hotshots. That extra days of rest should be beneficial to the aging body of Jayson Castro, who might be a bit fatigued following his pair of sensational throwback performances in Games 5 and 6 of the Magnolia series, during which he scored 18 and 26 points, respectively.
It also needs to be mentioned that TNT averaged 98.5 points in the semifinals opposite one Magnolia’s defense –over 10 more points than what the Hotshots had allowed on average to opponents this conference. Of course, a big reason for that as well is Mikey Williams, the most dangerous perimter scorer in the PBA today. Expect Williams to have extra motivation to take off in Game 1, considering he shot just 3/14 for 11 points in TNT’s 115-99 loss to the Beermen back in July.
San Miguel Beermen (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Ross
- SG: CJ Perez
- SF: Marcio Lassiter
- PF: Rodney Brondial
- C: June Mar Fajardo
The Meralco Bolts tried, but there was only so much they could do to contain Junemar Fajardo. The six-time PBA MVP made the Bolts his personal punching bag in the semifinals, as he averaged 19.8 points and 13.4 rebounds. Unless the 2003 version of Asi Taulava returns to the TNT franchise for this upcoming finals series, it’s hard to bet on the Tropang Giga’s chances of completley containing San Miguel’s big man in the paint. What’s going to make that assignment even harder for the Tropang Giga is the presence of CJ Perez, who is a three-level scorer.
With Fajardo and Perez attracting so much attention, guys like Rodney Brondial, Jericho Cruz, and Marcio Lassiter are always a threat as well to sneak in a bunch of points. No wonder the Beermen are the only team this conference that is averaging (or had averaged) over 100 points per game. In the aforementioned initial meeting this conference with TNT, the Beermen got 30 points each from Fajardo and Cruz.
Spread: San Miguel (-1.5) covers.
Over/Under: The Over (195.5) hits.