DEFENDING champion TNT Tropang Giga and San Miguel Beer go for 2-0 leads in their respective semifinals series of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But their opponents—Magnolia and Meralco—are coming in prepared for Game 2 of the race-to-four duels set at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
After yielding 96-108 setback in Game 1 to the Tropang Giga last Wednesday, head coach Chito Victolero made sure his Hotshots are ready to equalize in Game 2 that’s set for 6 p.m.
“We must,” Victolero told BusinessMirror. “We are ready offensively and defensively, we cannot afford to play like we did in Game 1.”
Mikey Williams played big for TNT coach Chot Reyes with 26 points, a production Roger Pogoy complimented with his own 23 points in Game 1.
Raymond Almazan, on the other hand, vowed that they would be playing with stronger legs in Game 2 to rid themselves of the stigma of an embarrassing 97-121 loss to the Beermen in their semifinals series opener.
“It’s a long series but of course we cannot be down 0-2. We have stronger legs now than the last time,” said Almazan, who posted 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks in Game 1.
CJ Perez was a main man last Wednesday with his 25-point output, making him a marked Beerman in Game 2, which, head coach Leo Austria said they won’t take for granted.
“The Bolts want to run, they suffocate us with their defense. They are a defensive team while we’re an offensive team,” Austria said. “We have to improve our defense, and that would be the key. I already addressed that to them to keep our defense.”