PBA: Defending champion TNT seeks 4th straight victory

Mikey Williams. PBA IMAGES

Tournament powers San Miguel Beer and TNT square off against separate foes on Wednesday, trying to stay on the winning track and safely in the upper half of the PBA Philippine Cup draw as the elimination round resumes at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Both the Beermen and the Tropang Giga, two of only three sides that have won this conference since 2016, will be taking on skidding foes, with TNT taking the floor first at 3 p.m. opposite NorthPort before San Miguel clashes with Rain or Shine at 6.

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TNT has played the most number of games here and will take a 5-2 record heading into its final four outings, and coach Chot Reyes wants his wards to put everything on the floor for a chance at one of the top two berths.

“We have four games left and we have to get as many wins as we can,” Reyes said. “And then we get a two-week break while the other teams are still playing.

“When we get that break, we can use that to have our injured core recover.”

The Beermen are tied for the lead with idle Barangay Ginebra for the lead at 4-1, and surprising Blackwater running third just a win behind.

San Miguel’s Leo Austria also wants his charges to put on the heat early—something they want to keep pushing for even with three key men injured—to avoid playing catch-up later on.

“We don’t want to play catch-up with the leaders and make the playoffs just for the heck of making it,” he said last week after an authoritative win over Converge that came after his Beermen’s first loss of the season, as Austria made his intentions clear of shooting for a top two finish at best or top four at the least after the elimination round.