Coaches Nash Racela and Franz Pumaren engage in a chess match anew, this time steering TNT and GlobalPort, respectively, at the start of their best-of-three quarterfinals duel in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The KaTropa may have lost their last eliminations assignment, a 98-94 defeat to top-seed San Miguel last Saturday, but Racela feels that his crew is slowly adapting to the system he has been developing all conference long.
“We’ll take the positives na makukuha namin, which is we can go toe-to-toe with San Miguel,” he said. “The guys are slowly starting to understand their roles. The way we do things here, yung rotations namin, and the use of our players. So that is something really positive going to the playoffs.”
TNT is also confident going to this tiff, knowing that it beat GlobalPort, 102-98, in their lone duel this conference last January 25.
However, the Batang Pier are coming in hot after blitzing Rain or Shine, 117-99, last Friday.
“The game against TNT proved something about our character. And we needed this game to prove something, that we have this character that we just won’t give up,” said Pumaren.
GlobalPort’s last victory was also highlighted by the 44-point explosion of Terrence Romeo, and one must wonder what the super scorer has in store when he faces TNT star Jayson Castro.
Game time is at 3 p.m.