TNT and Magnolia Chicken Timplados clash in an early face-off of last year's finalists in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Gametime is at 6:30 p.m.
The two teams are not much different from the two sides that met in the finals in the Bacolod bubble, which TNT won in convincing fashion.
The arrival of former Gilas Pilipinas cadet Jaydee Tungcab was the only change in the Tropang GIGA's lineup; Magnolia didn't change much, too.
However, the vital difference now is the absence of TNT star Mikey Williams, who planted the seeds of a Rookie of the Year season with his performance in last year's all-Filipino conference.
Williams, who finished runner-up to Ginebra's Scottie Thompson in the MVP balloting, has yet to rejoin TNT as negotiations for a contract extension stalled.
For Magnolia, head coach Chito Victolero has put a premium on health as the team aims to go all the way this season.
“Although we were in the finals in the Philippine Cup and in the semis of the Governors’ Cup, we want to improve more this season,” said Victolero.
“We want to be healthy throughout the season. ‘Yun ang problema namin last season. We gave emphasis doon sa preparation and conditioning,” he added.