Meralco, TNT KaTropa shoot for share of lead against separate Commissioner's Cup foes
Meralco coach Norman Black is hoping to lead the Bolts to their third straight win and fourth overall in five games to gain a share of the lead. Jerome Ascano

MERALCO and TNT shoot for a share of the lead as they face separate opponents in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Bolts face Magnolia at 7 p.m. with both teams looking to extend their winning streak to three games. TNT KaTropa, meanwhile, takes on winless Blackwater at 4:30 p.m.

The Bolts (3-1) gained a share of second place with Alaska and TNT after beating San Miguel, 93-85, to spoil the PBA debut of Christian Standhardinger last week.

Now, Meralco looks to tie Rain or Shine atop the team standings with a victory over Magnolia.

The Hotshots Pambansang Manok are also eyeing to give Vernon Macklin a swan song as he plays his last game before playing in China’s National Basketball League.

Magnolia beat Columbian, 126-101, with Macklin finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds in just 19 minutes.

Head coach Chito Victolero is confident Magnolia will not be affected by fatigue as the Hotshots play back-to-back playdates.

“Hopefully, hindi kami napagod. We have back-to-back games. We have a game on Friday. It’s an elite team against Meralco. We need to prepare hard,” said Victolero.

In the first game, TNT will look to atone for its 110-100 defeat against Alaska as it goes up against the Elite, who have lost all of their five games so far this conference.

TNT KaTropa, however, is fresh from letting go Jeremy Tyler on the eve of the match. As of posting time, there is still no word on who will replace Tyler.

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