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PBA: TNT faces Kia today

Games Today
(Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
4:15 p.m. – TNT KaTropa vs Kia
7 p.m. – Star vs Alaska

Michael Craig hopes to prove that he’s more than just a guy who figured in heated exchanges as a spectator in last conference’s finals as TNT KaTropa opens its campaign against winless Kia today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Craig was best remembered for talking trash with San Miguel’s Chris Ross and being part of a near-fracas at halftime of a Commissioner’s Cup finals game last month while watching the game from the stands along with then-TNT standby import Mike Myers.

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But now, the NBA D-League veteran will get a chance to show what he’s made of as the KaTropa eye to trip to the winner’s podium this time.

TNT’s bid starts in the 4:15 p.m. opener against a Kia squad that lost its first two games in the season-ending conference.

Jayson Castro and rookie Roger Pogoy, named to the 12-man roster of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon, are expected to lead TNT alongside Troy Rosario, Mo Tautuaa, Ranidel de Ocampo and Ryan Reyes.

Kia looks to frustrate TNT’s bid for a strong start despite falling to Phoenix (118-105) and NLEX (100-93) to kick off the tournament.

Import Markeith Cummings has been impressive in his first two games with the team, but has gotten little support from the locals.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Hill also makes his debut for the Star Hotshots in their 7 p.m. match with the struggling Alaska Aces.

Hill, making his first professional stint after a collegiate career at Illinois, replaced Cinmeon Bowers after failing to impress in Sunday’s 103-86 victory over Blackwater.

Star could only hope that the 22-year-old Hill could be the import that would mesh well with the locals, who overcame Bowers’ struggles to turn a tight contest against the Elite into a lopsided win.

The Hotshots face the Aces, who have 10 in a row dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup.

Alaska suffered a heartbreaking 95-93 loss to Phoenix Saturday when it allowed Fuel Masters import Eugene Phelps to score a game-winning layup at the buzzer.