By JONAS TERRADO
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Magnolia vs Phoenix
6:45 p.m. – Ginebra vs TNT KaTropa
TNT KaTropa looks to extend its unbeaten start to three games while the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok make their debut today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The KaTropa face an acid test at 6:45 p.m. when they square off with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, which is seeking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Rain or Shine.
Magnolia, on the other hand, sees action for the first time since losing to San Miguel in the Philippine Cup Finals as it faces Phoenix in the 4:30 p.m. curtain raiser.
TNT opened its campaign with wins over GlobalPort and Phoenix, giving new acquisition Terrence Romeo a positive start to his new home.
Romeo is again expected to play a key role for TNT alongside Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Jericho Cruz, Roger Pogoy and import Jeremy Tyler.
Ginebra is determined to redeem itself from a 108-89 defeat to Rain or Shine, prompting coach Tim Cone to apologize to the team’s followers.
Cone will bank on import Charles Garcia and locals LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson as they continue to play without injured center Greg Slaughter.
Meanwhile, Magnolia launches its bid to gain significant strides following its loss to SMB in the finals.
Ex-Ginebra import Vernon Macklin will reinforce a Hotshots team powered by Paul Lee, Mark Barroca and Ian Sangalang.
Phoenix split its first two games and is eager to get back from last week’s 106-98 loss to TNT.
Import James White and Matthew Wright will be tasked to give Magnolia a rough start to the conference.