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    TNT seeks a second straight Philippine Cup title as SMB tries to regain the crown in last won in 2019.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    TNT and San Miguel begin their finals series in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    The Tropang Giga and the Beermen face off at 6 p.m. in Game One, a crucial match for both teams.

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    Last season, TNT and San Miguel also went at it in the semifinals of the 2021 Philippine Cup with TNT taking Game One, 89-88. The teams would eventually take turns in winning matches before the Tropang Giga came out victorious in Game Seven.

    TNT went on to win the crown at the expense of Magnolia.

    Tropang Giga Coach Chot Reyes, though, says the new-look Beermen present a much different challenge.

    “Sa akin, last year is last year. This is a completely different series. I think everyone has said that San Miguel is a different team now. They are a lot deeper. Nalimutan ko na ‘yung last year. Sana lang, ‘yung resulta pareho. Other than that, last year is already the past,” said Reyes.

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    Chot Reyes Leo Austria PBA Philippine Cup trophyCoaches Chot Reyes and Leo Austria brace for battle.

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    San Miguel coach Leo Austria emphasized the need to win Game One to gain momentum in the finals series.

    “It’s very important to win Game One of the series. That could still be the tone of the series,” said Austria in Filipino. “We don’t know what will happen. But this is a very different tournament.”

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    “Talk ‘N Text is well-oiled machine. They are very comfortable with each other. That’s the thing that we need to consider,” said Austria.

    All eyes will be on Mikey Williams in TNT’s title-retention bid as his scoring has been one of the factors in the Tropang Giga’s success so far this conference.

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      June Mar Fajardo, on the other hand, is out to lead his team back to the championship after San Miguel missed the finals the past two occasions following its string of five straight Philippine Cup crown.

      TNT though will have to also find a way to contain San Miguel’s other players including CJ Perez and Jericho Cruz, who will be making their first finals appearance in a Beermen uniform.

      “I thought the old San Miguel team has more experience but this San Miguel team has more depth and balance. It’s really very tough. I hope we can fall back on our experience but if you look at it, aside from Jayson and Kelly, the team has very limited playoff experience,” said Reyes.

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      TNT seeks a second straight Philippine Cup title as SMB tries to regain the crown in last won in 2019.
      PHOTO: PBA Images
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