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TNT still wary of SMB's experience as Tropang Giga go for clincher

The Tropang Giga can oust the Beermen on Friday. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—At least for Jayson Castro, TNT still has some things to worry about San Miguel as the former looks to finish off the latter in Game 6 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Friday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Castro believes the Beermen's experience in this kind of situation could still turn the tides in favor of them as they now need sweep the remaining two games to return to the finals after even missing the semis last season.

"Alam naman natin na sobrang malakas na team ang San Miguel. At the same time, yung experience nila sa mga finals, nandoon," Castro said ahead of their 3 p.m. clash.

The spitfire has a point since the Beermen won five straight Philippine Cup championships before getting dethroned last year in the nearby city of Angeles.

Despite them being 3-2 up in the best-of-seven series, Castro said that the Tropang Giga must exert more effort than the Beermen in Game 6, even saying that they were not satisfied at how they played in Game 5 on Wednesday night when they walloped the Beermen, 110-90.

[Related Story: TNT now 1 win away from finals after drubbing SMB]

"Kailangan naming ma-doble kung ano ang ginawa namin [noong Game 5]. Maganda na nanalo kami [noong Game 5], pero hindi kami satisfied doon. Kailangan naming maging ready sa Game 6," he further said.

Wary of a fightback that could be reminiscent of how SMB drubbed TNT in Game 4 on Sunday, Coach Chot Reyes said that an excellent effort is needed for TNT to close out the best-of-seven series.

"The only way we can give ourselves a chance is by putting in excellent effort. I know we cannot play a perfect game, but as long as we put in excellent effort, then at least we give ourselves a chance because kung ia-outwork kami tulad nung nangyari last game, ang mangyayari talaga, tambakan. So we are going to try to predict what their adjustment is going to be, but in the end, it's the players on the court just putting out the extra excellent effort to give ourselves a chance to win," Reyes said.

In the nightcap at 6 p.m., Magnolia tries again to close out Meralco in their own semifinal clash.

Banking on the return of Raymond Almazan and a playoff career-high from Allein Maliksi, the Bolts derailed the Hotshots' first chance of a finals return with a 102-98 Game 5 win.

[Related Story: Meralco survives Magnolia in thrilling Game 5, keeps Finals bid alive]

However, it would take more than that to continue Meralco's climb from 1-3 down as Magnolia looks to bounce back and finally seal the finals berth.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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