AFTER splitting the first two games, TNT Tropang Giga and San Miguel Beer go at each other again, fighting for the 2-1 lead in their side of the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym Friday.
The two teams are back to scratch, but the Beermen will be enjoying the momentum - and possibly the psychological edge - following a come-from-behind 98-96 victory sealed by a Marcio Lassiter buzzer-beater.
It should've been a 2-0 edge for TNT if not for a meltdown in the face of a spirited San Miguel fightback from 19 points down.
In snatching the game from the hands of the Tropang Giga, the Beermen pricked the pressure that was engulfing the team.
And they're likely to come out bristling with renewed confidence as they slug it out with the Tropang Giga at 6 p.m.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria is egging his troops to push forward.
"We have to control the tempo because we're facing a very talented and energetic team. Most of them have fresh legs so we need to be able to handle their pressure better and also limit our turnovers," he said.
The Tropang Giga are not about to push the panic button, but admit they have a job cut out for them as they continue to face a loaded San Miguel side minus their main frontline player Kelly Williams.
"We need to find ways to compete against the most talented, deepest team in the league," said TNT coach Chot Reyes.
Sans Williams, the Tropang Giga actually dominated the first two games but sagged and collapsed at the endgame Wednesday.
The TNT coach isn't complaining.
"We're happy to be tied 1-1 without Kelly," said Reyes. (SB)