Game today:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
6 p.m. — TNT vs San Miguel

One team is looking to defend its crown while the other is trying to redeem lost glory.

Expect fireworks as defending champion TNT Tropang Giga and San Miguel Beer clash for early momentum in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game time is at 6pm as both sides bid to gain a a head start in the race-to-four duel for the coveted All-Filipino crown.

TNT top gun Mikey Williams is expected to try to ramp up his game after being held to just 14.3 points in the semis with Magnolia after posting 21.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in the eliminations.

As Williams mellowed a bit, it was Jayson Castro who shone bright as he banged in 26 points in their 87-74 Game 6 win over the Hotshots that propelled the to the finals.

“Definitely excited to get it started, I know it’s gonna be a tough series against good friends,” Williams said.

“I think I’m just ready and excited, let’s get it going.”

But another player is looking to steal the spotlight on his first finals appearance.

San Miguel playmaker CJ Perez wants to come up with an impressive finals debut after getting challenged by head coach Leo Austria to make a legacy by winning a title for the franchise.

The athletic guard is looking forward to continuing his fiery offense, but he admitted that there’s still jitters in facing a well-prepared TNT squad.

Still, the Beermen will come in ready with core players June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter and Chriss Ross leading the charge together with finals newcomers alongside Jericho Cruz, Vic Manuel and Rodney Brondial.

“I’m kind of nervous, but I’m finally excited that I can now play in the finals,” said Perez, who spent most of his PBA career with cellar-dwelling Terrafirma before getting shipped to SMB in 2020.

“For sure it won’t be easy to get the title, but we will do our best to get it.”

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