The Phoenix Fuel Masters and the TNT Tropang Giga will have one last date inside the PBA bubble to determine who goes home and who advances to the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
Will Phoenix clinch their first-ever finals berth? Or, will the Tropang Giga complete the comeback and make a return to a familiar atmosphere?
Catch this game live on November 27 at 3:45 pm, Manila time.
The Phoenix Fuel Masters (2-2)
With Calvin Abueva, the Fuel Masters know that they have to take the good with the bad, and that was very much evident in their 102-101 loss in Game 4.
Abueva scored 17 points to go with 13 rebounds, four assists, and three steals, but he also gave the ball away eight times, a few of which helped kill Phoenix’s late-game rally.
But it wasn’t just Abueva who was shooting the Fuel Masters in the foot, as the team had 27 turnovers in that game. Given TNT’s firepower and how hard it is to defend that team, the last thing Phoenix wants is to give Parks and company bonus possessions on morally and physically deflating plays.
Matthew Wright torched TNT with 34 points in Game 4. Without a doubt, Wright is expected to deliver for the Fuel Masters this Friday, it’s the peripheral scoring that’s likely to serve as Phoenix’s barometer. That means RJ Jazul, and the Fuel Masters’ relievers have to show up as well. Jazul had 11 points in Game 4, but RR Garcia and Brian Heruela combined for just six points.
The TNT Tropang Giga (2-2)
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. wasn’t going to wait for RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro to shoot better. In a must-win Game 4, Parks scored 36 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor across 46 minutes.
Parks was near-unstoppable in Game 4, and it’s probably better for TNT to just ride it out with him striking while he’s hot. Pogoy scored 18 points, but shot just 6 of 21, while Castro finished with 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting. The Tropang Giga aren’t going to let Pogoy and Castro stop trying, but it’s Parks who’s seemingly become the right primary offensive option for TNT. In any case, Pogoy, Castro, and Parks stretch the floor for each other and create plenty of angles on offense, regardless if they are shooting well or not.
Meanwhile, TNT will have to decide on what to do with Troy Rosario, who missed all six shots from the field on his way to a scoreless outing in Game 4. Rosario’s too good of a player to bury in the bench, but he’s yet to finish with a positive plus-minus in any game in the series, thus far.
In big games like this, it’s the team with more big guns and proven stars who are likely to succeed. With a roster laden with Gilas-ready talents, the Tropang Giga should be able to come away with a victory in this game. TNT wins Game 5, 96-90.