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    Tue, Nov 29

    TWO national coaches square off on Wednesday as Australia's Brian Goorjian takes on his Philippine counterpart in Chot Reyes.

    For this match though, it’s going to be their club teams which they will try to lead to victory as the Bay Area Dragons face the TNT Tropang GIGA in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Philsports Arena.

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    Though they haven’t faced each other in an international setting, Goorjian said he is very familiar with Reyes, having coached against him when he brought a team to the country in the 1990s.

    “I go back a long way with coach. I came here in the 1990s with my team and they totally kicked our ass,” said Goorjian. “We spent a little bit of time together.”

    Goorjian also coached against Reyes again shortly after the 2008 Olympics where he brought his Chinese ballclub to the Philippines.

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      “2009, 2010, that time after I finished with the Beijing Olympics, I went to China. And our owner said take the team to the Philippines and toughen this team up. It had finished last place. I brought the team over here in my first month of coaching in China and played his team a couple of times. Like I said, it wasn’t fun. But we developed a nice relationship,” said Goorjian.

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      Like other PBA coaches, Goorjian said he has high regard for the accomplishments of Reyes, whether on the local front or in the international scene.

      “I watched him with the Philippines national team and I’m looking forward to the game and re-acquainting,” Goorjian said.

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      For Goorjian though, the first order of business is for Bay Area to win its final game of the elimination round against TNT. The Dragons are leading the team standings with a 9-2 win-loss record, and a victory would assure the ballclub of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

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      The game holds more implications for TNT, which is at ninth place with a 4-6 win-loss record and fighting to stay in playoff contention.

      “It’s an important game for them and an important game for us. But he is a man I respect. I know his team will be prepared,” said Goorjian.

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