September 28, 2019
TNT KaTropa and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel want to stretch their advantage after initial wins when they collide against their respective opponents tonight in Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The KaTropa will face Rain or Shine (1-1 win-loss record) in the 4:30 p.m. first game while the Gin Kings take on Phoenix Pulse at 6:45 p.m.
TNT’s import, former Houston Rocket KJ McDaniels, had a prolific output of 41 points on top of 22 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks in the KaTropa’s 135-107 victory over Blackwater on Wednesday.
“You want to win as a competitor, and that’s what I hope to do, just win the entire thing,” McDaniels said. “We are going to play and have a different adversity every night so we just have to come out here and play with each other, stay together, stay positive and learn from our mistakes.”
TNT’s head coach Bong Ravena said he expects McDaniels to surpass his output but is wary of the team’s defense.
“We have to keep on improving especially on our defense every game. It’s going to be a defensive battle against Rain or Shine,” said Ravena, stressing that smothering Rey Nambatac, Ed Daquioag and James Yap’s shooting is a must.
“They are the shooters so we have to guard them closely.”
The Elasto Painters lost their opening game against Northport, 94-99, on Wednesday but bounced back in their second game against Columbian Dyip, 96-90, through import Joel Wright’s fourth quarter heroics.
Wright posted seven of his total 30 points in crunch time.
Meanwhile, Ginebra is upbeat from its 102-83 rout of Alaska on Sunday.
The Gin Kings are expecting tough battle against the Fuel Masters who are still winless after two games.
Import Justin Brownlee scattered 30 points and 22 rebounds in Ginebra’s win against Alaska.
“We just have to improve on our defense. Ginebra is good in both defense and offense,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas.
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