TNT, San Miguel Beer battle for 2-1 lead


Talk ‘N Text and reigning champion San Miguel Beer will clash for a 2-1 lead in Game 3 of the best-of-seven semifinals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.

Game begins at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be a game of adjustments,” TNT coach Nash Racela told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Saturday. “We just reviewed the game and there are new things that we’re going to do. What is important is they don’t anticipate our strategy.”

Chris Ross of SMB sneaks in a layup against Ranidel De Ocampo of TNT in Game 2 of the best-of-seven semifinals of Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Friday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Asked if they’ve already figured out San Miguel Beer’s strategy, Racela said: “Not yet. I’m expecting them to pull off new tricks. San Miguel is a very intelligent team.”

Racela is optimistic of his team’s chances to score another win in Game 3. “Any team is beatable in the PBA. It just happens that there are teams that have many talents, while other teams have only few. But if we do things correctly, then we have a chance.”

After losing 98-111 in Game 1 on Wednesday, the KaTropa evened the series at 1-1 with a slim 87-85 win in Game 2 powered by the combined prowess of Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo.

Coach Leo Austria of the Beermen, on the other hand, said that Game 3 means new adjustments, and that he expects his players to play with a sense of urgency.

“It is a start of a new series, best-of-five. As what I’ve said, first game is very important. If we win tomorrow (today), then we only need to win two more games to enter the finals. I think the players will have a sense of urgency tomorrow,” Austria told The Times in a separate interview.

“It’s a game of adjustments. I think it is how we adjust and how we read their adjustments. Forget the past, think of the present,” he added. “We just have to bounce back hard. It will be tough for us if we lose since this is a start of a new series.”

He also downplayed the opinion of fans that they are stronger than Talk ‘N Text. “It depends on the players’ way of how to win. Talk ‘N Text also plays with a big heart. They are equally strong even though we ended the elimination round at No. 1 and we have June Mar (Fajardo).”

Austria expects a more explosive Game 3. “It is already given that they will be more physical particularly to June Mar but we’re going to adjust.”

Talk ‘N Text’s Castro said it takes serious effort to stop the Beermen and Fajardo. “Everybody knows that Fajardo is hard to stop especially if he’s inside the paint. It will be an easy two-point or he’ll kick it out to his open teammate.”

“We can’t solve problems for the whole series, so we have to take it one game at a time. We need to maintain our composure for the entire game and keep our distance against them. I’m sure they already saw what we did in Game 2 and I’m sure they’ll make adjustments.”

San Miguel Beer’s Arwind Santos vowed the Beermen would comeback strong in Game 3. “In our 11th consecutive win, it is only natural that it will end up. Not all heroes are successful, sometimes they fail even Michael Jordan.”

“What is important is how we get back and how we stand up again.”


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