By JONAS TERRADO
(DHVSU Gym, Bacolor)
12:30 p.m. — Blackwater vs TNT
3 p.m. — Terrafirma vs San Miguel
6 p.m. — Meralco vs Magnolia
The PBA Philippine Cup finally resumes today following a month-long layoff with with unbeaten Magnolia facing third-running Meralco in the featured match at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Magnolia and Meralco square off at 6 p.m. to highlight the restart of the season-opening conference that was put on hold when Metro Manila was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) regulations coupled with rising number of COVID-19 cases.
TNT, also with a clean slate, faces winless Blackwater in the opener at 12:30 p.m. while San Miguel Beer tackles Terrafirma, another team without a victory, in the middle game of the triple bill at 3 p.m.
The league only released the schedule of today’s matches and for the rest of the week after receiving the results of the RT-PCR tests of all teams yesterday.
Expect teams to experience a mixture of excitement and rust when action begins in Bacolor.
Though eager to continue its winning ways when the league staged the first two weeks of the season at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Magnolia’s bid for a fifth victory will be put to a stern test in Meralco.
Meralco picked up where it left off from last season’s Philippine Cup bubble by winning four of its five games prior to the stoppage.
Above Meralco is TNT, which won its first three outings to begin coach Chot Reyes’ second tenure with the club on a good note.
The Tropang Giga are favored to keep Reyes perfect against the Elite, who are at 0-4 and have lost 12 consecutive games dating back to last year’s bubble.
San Miguel, with a 3-1 card, is looking to stay within striking distance of the leaders at the expense of Terrafirma, which like Blackwater is struggling at 0-4.
Meanwhile, NLEX takes on Alaska at 2 p.m. and Rain or Shine faces Phoenix Super LPG tomorrow while Magnolia meets Blackwater at 12:30 p.m., Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tackles Terrafirma at 3 p.m. and TNT squares off with Meralco at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Matches on Saturday, Sept. 4 pit Phoenix against NLEX at 2 p.m. and San Miguel battling Alaska at 4:35 p.m. before a tripleheader wraps up the first week of the resumption on Sunday with Terrafirma-Blackwater at 12:30 p.m., Ginebra-Meralco at 3 p.m. and Magnolia-TNT at 7 p.m.