Judging by the ease with which they won their opening games, Star and TNT are heavy favorites to close out their best-of-3 quarterfinal series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Star looks to dominate Rain Or Shine anew when they battle at Araneta Coliseum at 4:15 p.m., before TNT tussles with Meralco at 7 p.m.
A win by Star will set up the Hotshots with San Miguel in the semifinals, while a victory by TNT gets the KaTropa a date with Barangay Ginebra in the next round.
These scenarios aren’t unlikely, given Star and TNT’s convincing wins in Game 1.
Star bludgeoned Rain Or Shine 118-82 on Monday, behind Ricardo Ratliffe’s 29-point production, while TNT crushed Meralco 102-84 on Jayson Castro’s all-around performance.
Meralco head coach Norman Black was annoyed by the defeat, particularly because Alex Stepheson failed to assert himself against a TNT squad that fielded Justin Smith (bum stomach) at less than 100%.
“They didn’t even start their import, which doesn’t say much for their respect for my import,” Black told the PBA website.
“For me, as a former import, it would’ve been insulting for the other team not to start their import.”
TNT had plenty of help. Castro got game-high numbers of 25 points and 7 assists, Moala Tautuaa finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds, Kelly Williams 10 and 8, while Troy Rosario and RR Garcia contributed 9 points each.
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