TNT, NLEX seek place in semis

Photo from PBA

TNT and NLEX look to make short work of their opponents and arrange a semifinal duel as the quarterfinal round of the PBA Governors’ Cup begins on Wednesday, March 16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Giga will try to once again end the campaign of defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at 6 p.m. in their second straight meeting in the last eight.

Not only are the Road Warriors seek a place in the semis but also close the chapter on the fabled participation of the Alaska Aces in the pro league when the second phase of the season-ending conference formally starts at 3 p.m.

Both MVP-owned squads need just one victory to reach the semis aside from carrying a twice-to-beat advantage which was a reward for their top four finish at the end of the eliminations.

For TNT, it will come in having won the last five games of the elims despite dealing with a 2-4 start and some of the Tropang Giga players suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Focus is on PBA Press Corps Player of the Week Mikey Williams, who like his team has picked up his form at the right time.

TNT dominated Ginebra with a 27-point rout in the eliminations last Feb. 20, but coach Chot Reyes has braced himself for a much-difficult task this time.

Import Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson are expected to lead the Gin Kings’ quest to force a rubber match on Saturday.

Meanwhile, NLEX will get to see if the long break would be enough for new import Cameron Clark to mesh with the team.

Clark came in with his expectations of trying to match the impact provided by KJ McDaniels.

Kevin Alas, Don Trollano and JR Quinahan will be tasked to provide ample support for Clark.

NLEX is also out for redemption after it failed to capitalize on a twice-to-beat in the last Governors’ Cup in 2019 when as a top seed lost twice to No. 8 NorthPort.

Alaska wants to once again deal NLEX another twin defeat in hopes of adding another lifeline to its farewell tour.

The Aces will be banking on a hardworking crew of Jeron Teng. Robbie Herndon, Mike DiGregorio, Jerrick Ahanmisi and rookies Allyn Bulanadi and RK Ilagan in a bid to stay alive.

Like its opponent, Alaska is parading a new import in Mark Saint Fort in lieu of Olu Ashaolu in its bid to stay alive.