Now that the TNT Tropang Giga are in the PBA Philippine Cup finals, coach Chot Reyes and members of the team will have a chance at looking at how the last game of the semifinal series between the Meralco Bolts and the San Miguel Beermen will play out.
For Reyes, both teams will test the versatility and grit of the Tropang Gigas in the coming finals.
“It’s going to test our versatility because each team presents a different kind of problem,” said Reyes after TNT advanced to the finals following an 87-74 triumph in Game 6 of their best-of-seven semis clash with the Magnolia Timplados Hotshots on Sunday night .
The win earned TNT its third straight stint in the all-Filipino finals.
On the other hand, the Bolts pulled off a 96-92 win over the Beermen and equalized their own semis series at 3-3. This put the Beermen and the Bolts into a do-or-die encounter on Wednesday.
Reyes noted that the Beermen will be a puzzle with the size, ability and imposing presence of 6’10” center JuneMar Fajardo.
Meralco, on the other hand, is known for its scrappy nature and defense.
“We like to play small. (But) Maski sino man (between SMB and Meralco), we will be tested,” said Reyes.
The coming finals will also put Reyes, who is also the Philippine basketball team coach, in a tough situation because he has started holding Gilas’ practices on Monday at the Meralco Gym in Pasig, in time for the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ fourth window next week.
Gilas will have a complete roster, with Kai Sotto arriving on Thursday, and Jordan Clarkson, the following day.
The two coming games of Gilas will coincide with the Philippine Cup Finals, with Game 1 set this Sunday.
Game 2 is slated on August 24, while Game 3 is set Aug. 26, followed by Game 4 on Aug. 28.
By then, Gilas will have gone to Beirut to face the Cedars on the Aug. 25 before meeting Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena on Aug. 29.
Reyes said a decision has yet to be made regarding his availability in the PBA championship series.