Struggling titans SMB, TNT get timely boost for playoff push

In an ironic twist of fate, the two teams that competed for the Philippine Cup crown last conference are now looking to breathe some life to their flickering playoff hopes.

Terrence Romeo could make his season debut when San Miguel takes on Terrafirma (PBA Images)

Both the all-Filipino champion San Miguel and runner-up TNT battle for their dear lives against separate foes in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Barely clinging to their place inside the playoff picture at the seventh place, the Beermen face up against the already-ran Terrafirma Dyip in the main event at 5:45 p.m. while the Tropang Giga hope to slay the Bay Area Dragons to stay in the hunt for a spot in the next round in the 3 p.m. affair.

Interestingly, both teams are getting the much-needed shot in the arm for the pair of crucial encounters as the Beermen and the Tropang Giga continue to struggle with 4-5 and 4-6 records, respectively.

SMB has activated former scoring champion Terrence Romeo who recently recovered from a nagging back injury that sidelined him for eight months. The flamboyant guard last played for the Beermen in March when SMB was eliminated by Meralco in the Governors’ Cup of last season.

Also nearing on his return is main man June Mar Fajardo who was in uniform in the past two games but didn’t suit up as he awaits clearance from his doctor following his throat surgery.

Those are surely welcome developments for the Beermen who are badly needing victories not just to secure their place in the playoffs but also avoid the seventh and eighth spots where they will be on a twice-to-win disadvantage.

On the other hand, the Tropang Giga tapped the services of 6-foot-4 import Matt Mobley in place of Cam Oliver who is reportedly already done for the conference following a knee injury.

Mobley, who first strutted his wares in the European leagues, could be the boost TNT needed as veteran playmaker Jayson Castro also went down with an ankle injury in their loss to Ginebra last Sunday.