SMB’s Santos fined P20K
By JONAS TERRADO
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – GlobalPort vs Columbian
7 p.m. – Meralco vs TNT KaTropa
Meralco shoots for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals when it faces struggling TNT KaTropa tonight in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A victory in the 7 p.m. will allow the Bolts and league-leader Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to secure the quarterfinal bonus given to the two best teams after the elimination round of the midseason conference.
Rain or Shine is on top with an 8-1 record while Meralco is tied with Alaska for second at 7-2. Both teams hold the tiebreaker against the Aces.
Getting the twice-to-beat won’t be easy for Meralco as TNT is eager to bounce back from disappointing defeats to Magnolia and defending champion San Miguel Beer last week and keep its bid for a top two finish alive.
TNT is running fourth at 6-3 but has already secured a quarters berth.
Import Arinze Onuaku, Jared Dillinger, Baser Amer and Chris Newsome lead the charge for Meralco while TNT has Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy and import Joshua Smith.
The 4:30 p.m. opener will also play a deciding factor in the chase for the four remaining quarterfinal slots as GlobalPort battles Columbian, two teams which were clobbered by 27 points two nights ago.
GlobalPort, beaten 135-108 by Phoenix, is tied for sixth with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia at 4-5 but will see action for the first time since trading Kelly Nabong to San Miguel for Gabby Espinas and a 2020 second draft pick.
Columbian fell to 4-6 after falling to Ginebra, 134-107, and a defeat will likely put an end to quarterfinal dreams.
The Dyip have never made it past the elims since the 2016 Governors’ Cup.
Meanwhile, San Miguel’s Arwind Santos and TNT’s Tony Semerad and Don Trollano were fined P20,000 for a skirmish that marred their match last Saturday.
Santos and Semerad were tossed after incurring Flagrant Foul 2 for exchanging elbows during a battle for the rebound while Trollano was fined after later review found him hitting the San Miguel forward.