Red-hot Beermen, Tropa tackle skidding foes

Joshua Smith hopes to continue his monster game as TNT meets Magnolia on Wednesday's PBA action. Rick Johnsen Dela Cruz/ Dugout Philippines
By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA—Defending champion San Miguel and TNT hope to sustain their winning streaks as they battle separate opponents in Wednesday’s double-header of the Honda PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The KaTropa (6-1) aims to punch its way further to a twice-to-beat quarterfinal incentive as it trade baskets with the suddenly-vulnerable Magnolia Hotshots (3-4) in the 7:30 p.m. main game.

Returning import Joshua Smith came up with a 24-point, 13-rebound performance in TNT’s 117-106 win over sister team NLEX Road Warriors, and will again lead the offensive along with Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo.

The Hotshots are on a three-game losing spell, its latest loss a 99-103 decision opposite Alaska on Sunday. New Import Justin Jackson had a decent game with 21 points and 13 boards, but missed 10 of his 13 free throws.  

The Beermen, on the other hand, will gun for its fourth straight win as it meets GlobalPort in the curtain-raiser at 4:30 p.m.

After a 0-3 start, the boys of coach Leo Austria have been on a surge, but will have its hands full against the Batang Pier, who at 3-4 playing for their own playoff lives.

Puerto Rican Renaldo Balkman, averaging a conference-leading 30.25 points per game, and June Mar Fajardo played their usual games in its 129-117 win over Columbian Dyip, but got a big lift from Alex Cabagnot’s triple double for the victory.

Stanley Pringle will return from his 3x3 duties to guide Global Port, along with reinforcement Malcolm White and Sean Anthony.

Follow him on Twitter: @Teaching_Hero