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(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Mahindra vs TNT Katropa
7 p.m. – Phoenix vs NLEX
Dangerous Mahindra takes on red-hot TNT.
The only unbeaten team in the conference, TNT Katropa tries to sustain that clean slate as it shoots for a playoff berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
At 6-0, the Texters are on target to earn one of four twice-to-beat incentives in the quarterfinal round where only the top eight teams after the elimination will advance in the next round, while the bottom four squads are eliminated.
TNT takes on dangerous Mahindra at 4:15 p.m., while Phoenix Fuel clashes with NLEX at 7 p.m.
Both the Road Warriors and the Fuel Masters are nursing defeats, which gave Phoenix a 2-4 record – tied with Globalport for eighth and ninth places – half a game behind 3-4 NLEX.
TNT is fresh from a 124-117 win over Phoenix last Friday that saw the team connect on 19 three-pointers, including eight from Asian reinforcement Mike Madanly on his way to a 30-point explosion.
TNT’s regular import Mychal Ammons contributed 22 points and 18 rebounds, and with another long break since their game against Phoenix mentor Jong Uichico hopes the former South Alabama has learned the system.
“He’s adjusting well to the system,” said Uichico of Ammons, who took over from Mario Little.
“We’ll try to find ways to win, we know Mahindra is a strong team and they’ve shown that with the kind of performance they’re playing. It’s going to be a tough game,” added Uichico.
Mahindra is coming off a 97-88 win against Blackwater, a game that is best remembered with playing-coach Manny Pacquiao scoring a career best four points highlighted by his first three-pointer in the PBA – his second year in the pro league.
Enforcer assistant coach Chris Gavino said that facing TNT is another crucial encounter for them in their bid to earn their first playoff berth since joining the PBA as an expansion team last season
“We have high respect for TNT, they’re a champion team and they have high international caliber players. For us, it’s about preparing for the game, taking it as a playoff game,” he said.
Mahindra will rely anew on the leadership of import James White, who had 23 points and 19 rebounds in their last game against the Elite with backing from local players like KG Canaleta, Paolo Taha, LA Revilla, Mark Yee and Aldrech Ramos.
As for the Texters, Uichico will also have national team veterans Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier, Kelly Williams, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, and his pair of rookies in Troy Rosario and Mo Tautuaa.