Sep 11, 2021

TNT, Ginebra face off in rematch of last year's title duel

SPARKS fly as payback-seeking TNT Tropang Giga and booster-eyeing defending champion Barangay Ginebra face off Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The titans hit the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym court at 4:35 p.m. in their first meeting since disputing the All-Filipino title in the Clark bubble last December.

The Gin Kings won that duel in five games over the Tropang Giga, who were also hurt by injuries to key players Ray Parks and Jayson Castro at that time.

Now at full-strength and with multi-titled coach Chot Reyes at the helm, TNT is looking to get back at their conquerors and add to woes of Coach Tim Cone and his wards in the ongoing tournament.

Ginebra has been struggling big-time even with the presence of pre-season trade acquisition Christian Standhardinger, alternating between victory and defeat in its first seven games so far.

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As a result, Cone and Co. are lurking in the fringes of the Magic 8, a good two or three wins behind the teams in the upper rungs led by first quarterfinalist Tropang Giga (7-1).

The Gin Kings suffered a deflating setback to San Miguel Beer, 102-111, two nights before and there's no better way to get back on track and pick up some momentum than by toppling the league-leaders.

TNT is parading a new weapon against Ginebra in Mikey Williams, who sizzled with a career high 36 points in the Tropang Giga's 100-85 rout of NLEX last Friday.

"We quickly get back to the drawing board (after the stellar performance against NLEX) and shift our focus on Ginebra," said Williams.

Reyes and his charges will try to chalk up Win No. 8 and enhance their drive for a Top 2 spot in the Last-8 at the expense of Ginebra. (OL)

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