After over one month of the elimination round and two playoff rounds, there are only a pair of teams left contesting the 2020 Philippine Cup.
These two teams have endured the mental and physical exhaustion of the bubble – including two grueling semifinals series that went all the way to the final game.
Now, TNT and Barangay Ginebra are the last two teams left in the PBA Bubble, and no one can challenge their right to be here.
Both teams ended the elimination round in the top four which gave them a twice-to-beat advantage in the Quarterfinals, which they handled easily.
However, the two squads went through a war in the Semifinal series.
The Tropang Giga had to squeeze every ounce talent out of their “super team” to pull off a win in Game 5 against a very dangerous but inexperienced Phoenix squad.
After being down 1-2 in the series, and led by Ray Parks and backed up by Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Poy Erram, TNT managed to win two straight games in order to complete the comeback.
The young star Parks showed that he is not just one of the pieces in the super team, but instead he is the unquestioned top guy in his star-studded team.
After being put in a do-or-die situation, the Tropang Giga may have shown their vulnerability but also showed their will to win big games and wrest back control of momentum of a tough series.
As for the Kings, their bitter rivals the Bolts gave them quite a scare, especially in Game 5.
Throughout the series, Barangay Ginebra showed flashes of dominance, pulling off a blowout win in Game 1 and a grit and grind win in Game 3.
However, the resilient Bolts showed that they weren’t going down without a fight and pulled off a crucial win in Game 4, which set up a deciding Game 5.
In the final game, down by six in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Kings relied on defense and composure to rattle the chains of the inexperienced Meralco squad and grabbed the lead, 80-77, with 17 seconds left.
Bolts’ team leader Reynel Hugnatan knocked down a clutch three-pointer to tie the game at 80 but with 14 seconds left in the game, Scottie Thompson had his own “Justin Brownlee moment” as he knocked down the game-winning three-pointer to send them to the Finals of 2020 PH Cup.
Heading into the season, these two teams were the favorites to face off in the Finals.
Now, the prediction has come true and two titanic teams will finally see each other this Sunday as Game 1 of the Finals begins.