TNT and San Miguel begin their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title showdown on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Game One of the best-of-seven finals series is scheduled at 6:30 p.m.
The KaTropa and the Beermen renew their rivalry after battling for the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup crown. The Beermen won that series, 4-2.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria, however, sees a tough road to the title as they face a formidable TNT squad led by Terrence Jones and a host of locals that have also been stepping up such as Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy and Troy Rosario.
“Alam naman natin na they're on top of the tournament after the eliminations and the first team to get into the finals,” said Austria. “Terrence Jones is a big factor. But it's not only him. The local players, even though limited ang ginagamit nila, they're providing a lot of firepower. Talagang mahirap”
The Beermen beat Rain or Shine in four games of the best-of-five semifinal series to clinch a finals berth and a chance to win a second straight title this year.
The KaTropa, meanwhile, are looking to end a four-year title drought after last winning a PBA title in the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup.
TNT advanced to the finals for the first time in two years, dethroning Barangay Ginebra in four games in the semifinals.
“I know we haven’t won in a long time so we feel we are the underdogs. We’ll come in excited and try to get something special for the organization in a long time,” Jones said.