PBA: San Miguel, TNT shoot for victories minus key personnel


Posted at May 05 2017 06:03 AM

Expect Kelly Williams to step up his game as TNT faces San Miguel with a depleted roster. Courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

With 3 of their best players on loan to Gilas Pilipinas, TNT KaTropa faces an uphill battle in the next few days in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Not that TNT's next opponent is any more complete.

TNT will face San Miguel Beer at Araneta Coliseum 7 p.m. on Friday, after the GlobalPort-Phoenix game at 4:15 p.m.

The KaTropa will miss the services of Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy and Troy Rosario, who were all loaned to the national team, while the first-place Beermen put their perfect record on the line minus 3-time MVP June Mar Fajardo who is also committed to national team duties.

PBA Commissioner's Cup
Standings (through May 3)
Team Won Lost Next game
San Miguel 5 0 TNT (May 5, Fri)
Meralco 7 1 Gpt (May 10, Wed)
Ginebra 4 1 (May 7, Sun)
Star 5 2 ROS (May 6, Sat)
TNT 5 2 SMB (May 5, Fri)
Alaska 4 2 Gin (May 7, Sun)
Rain Or Shine 4 3 Star (May 6, Sat)
Phoenix     3 5 Gpt (May 5, Fri)
Blackwater 2 5 Mah (May 7, Sun)
GlobalPort 2 6 Phx (May 5, Fri)
Mahindra 1 7 Bkw (May 7, Sun)
NLEX 0 8 SMB (May 19, Fri)

Castro, Pogoy and Rosario are averaging a combined 40 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists, and team manager Virgil Villavicencio acknowledged TNT is hard-pressed to fill the statistical void left by the trio.

“Mabigat ‘yon,” Villavicencio said on the official PBA website.

Just as heavy is the absence of Fajardo for San Miguel.

“May mga pamalit kami pero may malaking adjustments pa rin na gagawin kasi our plays revolve around June Mar,” SMB coach Leo Austria said.

In the afternoon game, GlobalPort and Phoenix are eyeing a win to stay in contention for a playoff berth.

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