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    Twice-to-beat TNT, NorthPort eye quick wins to avoid extended quarterfinals

    Jul 21, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    TNT and NorthPort look to secure semifinal berths when the Katropa and Batang Pier face separate opponents on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    The KaTropa face Alaska at 4:30 p.m., while the Batang Pier take on San Miguel at 6:45 p.m.

    Twice-to-beat in the quarterfinals, the top-seed KaTropa and the second-seed Batang Pier look to avoid a series and quickly advance to the semifinals.

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    TNT will be facing an Alaska squad which is coming off a 108-103 overtime victory over Meralco that earned the Bolts the eighth seed in the quarterfinals.

    Alaska coach Alex Compton knows the daunting task ahead of the his team in containing TNT import Terrence Jones, who has been doing it all for the KaTropa with that led to a 10-1 win-loss card in the elimination round.

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    “I actually know some guys in a league who have a good match-up for Terrence Jones. That league is called the NBA. I don’t think there is a good match-up out here. He is incredible,” Compton said.

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    NorthPort, meanwhile, will be facing San Miguel, which slipped to the seventh spot after a loss to Meralco on the final day of the elimination round.

    Despite holding a twice-to-beat incentive, NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio still sees his team as the underdog against San Miguel due to the Beermen’s impressive resume including a title in the Philippine Cup last conference.

    “Siyempre dehado kami doon. Defending champion (ng Philippine Cup) makakalaban. Sa dinami-dami ng teams, 12 kami. Isipin mo, sa sampung team, isipin mo ‘yun pa bumagsak sa amin,” said Jarencio.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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