SMB, TNT shoot for 2-1 edge in PBA Philippine Cup finals series

SMB, TNT shoot for 2-1 edge in PBA Philippine Cup finals series

By Cip D.C. Cabrera

SMB coach Leo Austria (featured image) hopes to fire up his wards for a 2-1 edge against Talk ‘n’ Text in Game 3 today (Friday). (Photo credits: Our Daily News Online)

Game today:

(Mall of Asia Arena)

5:45 p.m. — San Miguel Beer vs. Talk ‘n’ Text (Game 3)

PASAY CITY, Metro Manila — Talk ‘n’ Text (TNT) and San Miguel Beer tangle in Game 3 today (Friday, 26 August 2022) with both sides pinning to gain a 2-1 edge in their best-of-seven finals battle in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup conference at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Beermen’s head coach Leo Austria expects his wards to face strong play from Tropang Giga who are expected to avenge a 109-100 debacle in Game 2 that reset the series for SMB at 1-1.

Game time is set at 5:45 p.m. today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Victorino ‘Vic’ Manuel led SMB’s juggernaut last time around. On the prowl for his first PBA crown, Manuel struck hard in the second half, scoring 12 of his 20 markers even as finals debutant Christian Jaymar ‘CJ’ Perez shared 23 points and five rebounds.
Teammates Marcio Lassiter also contributed to SMB’s win with 19 points and six boards even as June Mar Fajardo drilled in 13 more and eight rebounds and Mo Tautuaa and Jericho Cruz combined play for 23 additional points off the bench.

Going into Game 3, Austria enthused that his team can’t just depend only on Perez or Fajardo to carry their offensive play so he has fired up the rest of the Beermen to step up and duplicate their performance in their masterful Game 2 victory over the defending champions.

“Slowly, we’re regaining our chemistry. We’ve been telling them that basketball is not about June Mar or CJ and they have to play as a team,” he cited.

“We’ve been losing our killer instinct lately. Lucky for us, the pride of the players stepped up. We want to remove that tendency of relaxing because we are in a championship game,” he added.

In ending, the SMB coach stressed that they have to be cautious because their finals battle is far from over. (ai/mtvn)

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