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1. John Paul Erram (#7) 

2. Ping Exciminiano (#8) 

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13 Joe Devance (#38) 

14. Ken Holmqvist (#43) 

15. MJ Ayaay (#50) 


The Rematch of Last Year’s Title Duel 

by: Barney Cruz


The Gin Kings defeated the Phoenix Fuel Master 95-85 in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup playoff game held at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga, securing their no. 8 spot. Ginebra’s victory secured a rematch at no. 1. TNT Tropang Giga in the Clark bubbled in the last 2020 All-Filipino Cup Finals. The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings are the defending champions, but they are well aware that they face a formidable opponent in TNT Tropang Giga in the Philippine Cup quarter-finals this week. The Kings, who barely qualified for the playoffs, will square off against the Tropang Giga, who will face a twice-to-beat disadvantage. The fact that they will be playing without the athletic big man, Apeth Aguilar, who will miss the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury, and possibly all-around guard Scottie Thompson, who entered the league’s health and safety protocols and has yet to be cleared to play, makes it even more difficult for them. 


The Kings, on the other hand, are not letting the enormous challenge get to them; instead, they are going to dig deep and do the best they can with the cards they have been given. There have been only two victories for the Kings due to COVID-19 in Metro Manila. The Kings finished with a 4-7 record. As a result, they came dangerously close to missing the playoffs altogether, becoming the first reigning champions to do so. In comparison, their quarterfinal opponent TNT has been consistent throughout the eliminations, finishing with a near-perfect 10-1 record to secure the top seed and seems to be far from finished dominating. 


TNT Tropang Giga finishes off the season with 10-1 destroying every team they faced. They will be facing off against the defending champs in the quarter-finals of PBA Philippine Cup. They might be facing off against the defending champs, but they’re looking like the upper team and will be trying to upset the defending champs this coming Wednesday. TNT has a twice-to-beat advantage against Barangay Ginebra. They will be trying to dominate the defending champs just like the teams they have faced off in the regular season. Their rookie, Mikey Williams, brought the team to a win last Sunday finishing the game with a  career-high 27 points along with Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario both adding 28 points combined. TNT Giga Rookie Player Mikey Williams is striving for the BPC, best player of the conference award. Winning the game this Sunday for his team will surely bring him 1 step closer to his dream.  


Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings may be number eight seed, but the defending champions have fought tough battles and have defeated TNT Tropang Giga last year 3-1 in order to become the 2020 PBA Champions. However, without bigman and last year’s Elite Five Japeth Aguilar, out due to knee injury and do-it-all guard Scottie Thompson.  This matchup should definitely be tougher for the Kings. 


Barangay Ginebra will surely give TNT Tropang Giga a close fight, giving it their all in this twice-to-beat advantage given to TNT Tropang Giga. However, Barangay Ginebra will come up short against TNT resulting in a Points Handicap in favor of Barangay Ginebra +5.5; moreover, resulting in TNT being the Match Winner.  


TNT Tropang Giga will take on Barangay Ginebra in the quarter-finals of the PBA Philippine Cup at Don Honorio Ventura State University, Bacolor, Pampanga on September 29, 2021, TBA. 

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