By Jonas Terrado
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
6:30 p.m. — TNT KaTropa vs Meralco
It will be the turn of TNT KaTropa and Meralco to start their own best-of-five semifinal affair in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The KaTropa and Bolts at 6:30 p.m. as the two teams owned by Manny V. Pangilinan hope to dictate the early pace in the race for a spot in the finals.
TNT, however, is still determining at presstime if Roger Pogoy will be available for the series opener after hurting his back against Magnolia in the quarterfinals.
The injury forced Pogoy to miss the national team’s campaign in the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games.
But TNT coach Bong Ravena and active consultant Mark Dickel still have enough pieces to match up with Meralco.
Import KJ McDaniels, Jayson Castro and rookie Ray Parks Jr. are out to give the KaTropa the early edge.
TNT beat Meralco 116-113 in their lone elimination round meeting last Oct. 12 but the Bolts never wavered since.
Behind resident import Allen Durham, the Bolts made their fourth straight semifinal appearance in the season-ending conference after dispatching the Alaska Aces in the quarters.
Raymond Almazan is keen on keeping the form that has made him one of the leading candidates for the Best Player of the Conference award.
Also key are point guard Baser Amer, Cliff Hodge, Allein Maliksi and Chris Newsome, who helped the Philippines win the inaugural men’s 3×3 gold in the SEA Games.