League-leading TNT wraps up a difficult stretch of matches against teams from corporate rival San Miguel Corporation when it battles defending champion Barangay Ginebra Sunday, Sept. 12 in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Tropang Giga, who clinched the first quarterfinals berth, shoot for their eighth win in nine games that could enhance their quest to gain a top two finish in the 4:35 p.m. match against the struggling Gin Kings.
It will also mark the first meeting between TNT and Ginebra since last year’s Philippine Cup Finals which saw the Gin Kings lift the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy after five games.
TNT split its first two matches against SMC teams, securing an 83-76 win over Magnolia exactly a week prior and suffered an 83-67 defeat to San Miguel Beer last Sept. 8.
Sandwiched during the meeting with the three clubs was a convincing 100-85 win over fellow MVP Group squad NLEX after TNT put on a big second half performance.
Getting first or second going into the playoffs will give TNT a twice-to-beat advantage against either the seventh or eighth placers.
Ginebra needs an all-important win to regain a bit of the form that won them last season’s Philippine Cup crown in Angeles City.
The Gin Kings are at 3-4 for ninth spot after losing 111-102 to the Beermen two days earlier.
SMB shoots for a third consecutive victory and move into solo second against a revitalized Rain or Shine at 2 p.m.
Wins over TNT and Ginebra sent SMB to a tie for second with idle Meralco at 5-2.
Rain or Shine, in fifth position with a 5-4 slate, is coming off a 75-72 victory over Magnolia Pambansang Manok which dropped the latter to fourth at 6-3.
Like San Miguel, NorthPort eyes a three-game sweep of the second week of hostilities in Bacolor in the 7 p.m. match with NLEX.
NLEX is in sixth at 4-4 while NorthPort carries a 3-3 card a day after prevailing over Terrafirma, 104-84, the other day.