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PBA: San Mig, TNT renew rivalry

Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – Kia vs Ginebra
7 p.m. – TNT KaTropa vs San Miguel

The early stages of the PBA Govenors’ Cup could witness a playoff-like atmosphere tonight as the grand slam-seeking San Miguel Beermen and TNT KaTropa meet for the first time since their title duel last conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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Gametime is at 7 p.m. with both teams seeking their second win after starting the season-ending conference with resounding victories at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

San Miguel wants nothing more but to extend its mastery over TNT after capturing its second straight title with a six-game series victory over TNT in the Commissioner’s Cup finals last month.

Beermen coach Leo Austria is expecting the KaTropa to enter the court with something to prove.

“Alam naman nila na kami ang team to beat, and it’s about time of them to get back on us kasi last time we beat them, and at the back of their minds, di nila makakalimutan yun,” Austria said after the Beermen’s 118-93 thrashing of the Blackwater Elite Saturday.

Those who followed the championship series would be intrigued with the matchup between the Beermen’s Chris Ross and KaTropa import Michael Craig.

Craig along with then-TNT standby reinforcement Mike Myers figured in a verbal exchange with Ross as spectators during Game 3 of that series, eventually resulting in a near-fracas near the locker rooms of the two teams at halftime.

Craig gave Ross and the Beermen a preview of what to expect after exploding for 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in TNT’s 106-96 win over Kia Friday night.

“He’s competitive, and I’m looking forward to competing against him,” Craig said of Ross. “They are champions, they got it home, you know, gotta dethrone them.”

Defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel shoots for its second straight win after starting the conference with a loss in the 4:15 p.m. encounter with Kia to open today’s doubleheader.

Ginebra barged into the win column Sunday with a 124-108 beating of GlobalPort with PBA Press Corps Player of the Week LA Tenorio leading the way with 29 points.

Greg Slaughter came off the bench to produce 20 points and eight rebounds, perhaps showing significant strides in his second game back from a knee injury.

Kia looks to come out and end a miserable start that saw the Picanto lose three straight.