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    Offense vs defense as TNT faces Meralco in PBA semifinals

    Can the Tropang Giga's top-ranked offense get past the Bolts' stifling defense?
    Mar 24, 2023
    Calvin Oftana TNT vs Meralco
    Calvin Oftana and the rest of the Tropang Giga try to navigate through the Meralco defense.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    OFFENSE versus defense will be a storyline of the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals between TNT and Meralco.

    TNT vs Meralco preview

    The Tropang GIGA are the No. 1 scoring team in the league with an average of 118.5 points, and will be facing the Bolts, a team that limited opponents to 100.4 a game, the lowest throughout the conference.

    “The one thing going for us is we are the top defensive team in the league. Something’s gonna give,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.

    Black hopes that they can bring their defensive mentality in the series, and one aspect of TNT’s game that Meralco looks to contain is its ability to score points quickly.

    “Right off the top of my head, we have to get back on defense… Against Phoenix, it was like a fastbreak drill. We have to get back on defense,” said Black.

    Meralco overcame a team that is also known for its defense in Magnolia during the quarterfinals. The Bolts won in overtime, 113-107. Now, they brace for a team that can also defend but in a different way.


    “Talk ‘N Text is a completely different team. They are a high-scoring team… They outscore you up and down the court. Not to say they don’t play defense because they do. They do it in a high-scoring way,” said Black.

    “They like to turn turnovers into turnover points… We really got hurt with the rebounds in the first half (against Magnolia). That’s something that hasn’t happened to us the entire conference. Second half, we started rebounding and playing better. Against Talk ‘N Text, we have to rebound the basketball. We do have some size and they are very athletic. We have to control the boards and limit their fastbreak as much as possible,” said Black.


      TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa is also confident that its strength on offense will be enough to match up with the defense of Meralco.

      “I think we just need to play our game. I think ‘yung offense namin is natural. When you see us, we’re not really running any sets. They are just playing… It’s going to be challenging,” said Lastimosa.

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      Calvin Oftana and the rest of the Tropang Giga try to navigate through the Meralco defense.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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