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    Fri, Sep 30
    Vic Manuel Troy Rosario SMB vs TNT Game 2
    Vic Manuel and the rest of the Beermen try to take their first lead of the series.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    SAN Miguel hopes to taste the lead for the first time in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup finals against TNT in Game Three on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    San Miguel vs TNT Game 3 preview

    The Beermen eye their second successive victory after claiming their first win of the series on Wednesday, 109-100. Game Three is at 5:45 p.m.

    Easily, San Miguel could have had a 2-0 lead in the series if not for Jayson Castro’s buzzer-beater in Game One, enabling TNT to escape with an 86-84 victory. Despite the win last Wednesday that saw six players scoring in double figures, San Miguel coach Leo Austria said the Beermen should remain on their toes for the match-up.

    “I’m still considering na Talk ‘N Text is really a strong team,” said Austria. “Sabi ko nga, well-oiled machine, well-coached. They know how to run their plays kasi they’ve been together for so long. Talagang nakakatakot itong Talk ‘N Text. I’m sure na babalik at babalik sila. They are equipped of everything.”

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    TNT will once again be playing without head coach Chot Reyes, who is on his way back to the Philippines after Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Lebanon in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asia qualifiers.

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    “Kahit wala si coach Chot, alam naman natin na na-lay down na ‘yung foundation ng kanilang nilalaro. Talagang very dangerous sila,” said Austria.

    In the win, CJ Perez had 23 points, but Vic Manuel was the revelation for San Miguel after he poured 20 points, a playoff high in a San Miguel uniform.

    San Miguel was also able to limit Mikey Williams to only seven points, his worst scoring output of the conference, although Austria expects that he will make adjustments and will be better health-wise after an ankle injury during the first quarter.

    “Siguro may dinaramdam si Mikey dahil sa isang incident nung first half. Still, mahirap talunin ang Talk ‘N Text. I’m sure sa next game, marami silang adjustments,” said Austria.

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      Austria hopes that Manuel and Mo Tautuaa would repeat their performance in Game Two. The two held the fort inside the paint that allowed June Mar Fajardo to rest in some parts of the ballgame.

      “Alam naman natin na si June Mar is averaging more than 35 minutes. I’m so happy with Vic and Mo, na-sustain nila ‘yung ginagawa namin sa loob. It’s a bonus for June Mar na nakakapag-pahinga siya. Alam naman natin na when he is inside, ang concentration ng defense nasa kanya. Bugbog na bugbog na ‘yung mama dahil puro tulak sa kanya, bangga. With the help of Vic and Mo, mapepreserve ‘yung energy niya,” said Austria.

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      Vic Manuel and the rest of the Beermen try to take their first lead of the series.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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