The TNT Tropang Giga is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings at 6:00 PM on November 29, 2020, live from the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The Gin Kings and Tropang Giga start their best-of-seven title showdown today with the blazing desire to be the successor to dethroned five-time defending champion San Miguel Beermen.
With Scottie Thompson’s buzzer-beater in the dying seconds of their Game 5 duel against the very promising Meralco Bolts, Ginebra escaped the Norman Black-head coach team’s rampage, 83-80, to book a ticket against the TNT Tropang Giga at that time is awaiting for their opponent in the PBA restart finale.
“They (TNT) were the favorite team coming into the PBA bubble. I think they showed that from the very beginning. I think we (Gin Kings) will be the slight underdogs going into the playoffs even though we were the Number 1 seed (after the elimination round),” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, the most bemedalled mentor in PBA history.
The last time out, the first-seeded Barangay Ginebra defeated the very promising Meralco Bolts, 83-80, to book a ticket against the TNT Tropang Giga, who already earned a finals berth at the expense of the second-seeded Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 91-81.
“They’re playing big basketball. They’re well-coached, and they’ve got Jayson (Castro). Jayson’s a difference-maker. We had a really hard time containing Chris Newsome (in the semifinals). As good as Chris was, Jayson takes it to another level. We have to figure out a way to control him,” added Cone.
In comparison, Tropang Giga is better on the offensive side, averaging 98.2 points, while Ginebra averages only 85.6.
On the defensive side, however, Barangay Ginebra has the edge. Throughout the contest, the Gin Kings have only allowed their rivals to a mere 45.9 percent clip and yielding only 85.6 points a game.
Aside from this, the Cone-mentored team has the advantage mentally as they already defeated TNT once in the elimination round, 85-79, last November 6. Stanley Pringle power the Gin Kings past TNT with a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Veterans Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio backstopped Pringle as they themselves also provided the firepower for Ginebra. Aguilar had his own double-double of 19 and 11, while Tenorio finished with 15 markers and nine assists.
During that match, Tropang Giga’s Castro scored a team-high 19 points. Poy Erram and Rayray Parks also finished with double-doubles of 17 points and 10 rebounds and 15 and 13, respectively. Unfortunately for the Bong Ravena-mentored squad, Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario didn’t score as much, with the latter practically missing all his 15 tries from the field.
Howbeit, Castro has improved a lot since.
“Playing against Ginebra is tough. They have a coach who’s very experienced, especially in the finals. We were outplayed by them in the elims. We will do our best to play well,” said TNT head coach Ravena.
“We’re really hoping (for Ray’s sustained play). He has been the anchor of this team ever since the bubble started,” Ravena added.
With 38.3 statistical points, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is the league’s statistical leader this season. Parks had an average of 22.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
Over and above that, Parks improved those numbers across the board in the five-game semifinal series where TNT beat the Super LPG. He averaged 27.8 points (which included a high of 41 points), 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game against the Fuel Masters in the PBA semifinals.
“But at the same time, we also need everyone to be free of injuries, especially this being a series,” Ravena further added.