Likely TNT-SMB showdown again | Inquirer Sports
Wild Card

Likely TNT-SMB showdown again

/ 04:01 AM October 14, 2019

The high-wire acts continued for the TNT KaTropa and the grand-slam seeking San Miguel Beermen as they pursued a second straight title showdown to cap Season 44 of the Philippine Basketball Association.

After barely missing the Commissioner’s Cup title last August, the KaTropa looked a strong bet again for the Governors’ Cup finals with an unblemished record in six games behind a solid core starring former Houston Rocket KJ McDaniels.

Also with a spotless slate in four games, the Beermen are in second place thanks mainly to Dez Wells, who does not have the credentials of McDaniels but is just as impressive with his all-around talent proving decisive for SMB in its last two outings.


Wells, a veteran of the NBA G-League and the Italian League, carried the Beermen past the then unbeaten NLEX Road Warriors with a 98-94 decision and then delivered the winner in a 90-89 nipping of the defending champion Magnolia Hotshots, whose import Romeo Travis failed to finish the game with a foot injury in McDaniels scored 32, 29, 30 and 51 in a four-game, 12-day TNT grind against Phoenix (123-118), Columbia (125-120), NorthPort (103-100) and Meralco (116-113). But KJ needed timely help from Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro and Don Trollano to keep KaTropa unscathed in that rugged stretch.


McDaniels even produced the season-high individual score against the Bolts as he outshone Meralco’s former Governors’ Cup Best Import Allen Durham, who shot 43. But it took the clutch hits of Castro and Pogoy to finally doom the Bolts to their second loss in five games.

TNT is raring to avenge its recent championship loss to SMB despite a super reinforcement in Terrence Romeo, who was a Houston teammate of McDaniels. But the Beermen, who are enjoying one of their best starts in a tournament after a title romp, seem determined to nail a second grand slam after its first three-conference sweep in 1989.

With TNTand SMB all but assured of berths in the top four bracket that will enjoy twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals, the race for the remaining two slots in the key group is expected to be keener.

NLEX is in third at 4-1 after its recent upset of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Dubai with Meralco, Columbian and Magnolia now tied for fourth at 3-2.

Also a loser to Phoenix, Ginebra, the 2017 champion here, resumes its climb from 1-2 to join the eight-team quarterfinal cast by taking on SMB in a game going on at presstime.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Philippine Basketball Association, Sports

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.