PBA schedule August 5
The Beermen take on Meralco at 3 p.m. while the Tropang GIGA face Magnolia Chicken Timplados at 6 p.m. at the Big Dome.
Both teams who finished in the top two at the end of the eliminations won Game One in convincing fashion.
San Miguel defeated a weary Meralco squad, 121-97, while TNT won over Magnolia, 108-96, on Wednesday to start off the semifinals on a high note.
The Beermen hope to maintain their energy after it took a lengthy break before the semifinals, in contrast to the Bolts, who were coming off an emotional quarterfinal series win over Barangay Ginebra.
“It happened na nagkaroon kami ng magandang break. Nagamit namin ‘yung preparation namin kaya ‘yung energy ng team, napakataas,” said Austria.
Meralco assistant coach Luigi Trillo said that the Bolts were visible fatigued from their quarterfinal series, a sentiment that was also noticed by Austria.
“I’m sure next time, they will adjust a lot of things. Napansin ko mas energetic kami kesa sa kanila. But if you take a look at their team, since nagstart ng conference, they want to run and ‘yung suffocating defense nandoon kasi defensive team itong team na ‘to. We have to improve our defense,” said Austria.
TNT got off on the right foot in its finals rematch with Magnolia. Last season, the Tropang GIGA beat the Hotshots in five games to win the Philippine Cup in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Despite being on the cusp of a sizeable advantage, TNT coach Chot Reyes said he expects a different series this time with Magnolia having vastly improved from last season’s performance.
“They are a much-improved team. That’s why I told the team before the series that we cannot expect that this is going to be the same as the last series because this is a different team. For us to be competitive, we have to raise our level as well. Hopefully, we will be able to do that on a game-to-game basis. We are not thinking of the past. We are not thinking of the last series,” said Reyes.
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