Final Matchup: SMB, TNT battle for Philippine Cup title one last time

Final Matchup: SMB, TNT battle for Philippine Cup title one last time


The 2022 PBA Philippine Cup champion will finally be determined on Sunday night in Game 7 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

After five consecutive wins from 2015 to 2019, San Miguel will regain the title while TNT Tropang Giga will win its second consecutive title.

Game time is 6 p.m.

See CJ Perez looking to stay in form as SMB heads for success

San Miguel is the top seed heading into the playoffs with a 9-2 win-loss record, and TNT certainly doesn't want to lose after taking a 3-2 lead and then losing a 114-96 decision in Game 6.

After that 18-point victory, Beermen kept the momentum going, dropping 16 three-pointers, nine of which came from the combined efforts of Marcio Lassiter and Simon Enciso, who scored 22 and 20 points, respectively.


"I hope they learned from (Game 6). Because the seventh game was different. There is no tomorrow na 'yun eh. I hope 'yung performance nila ma-sustain nila or higher because I know it's going to be difficult for everyone. No one wants to lose. Everybody wants to win. It's all about the heart ang kelanan," said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.

"Sana 'yung suwerte namin, na-sustain sa Sunday," he added.

The biggest question for TNT is whether Jason Castro will play in the game. Castro did not see Friday's fight after spraining his ankle in Game 5, and his presence will surely increase the Tropang Giga's chances of winning the title.

Austria expects TNT to be at full strength in this do-or-die clash.

"na kumpleto sila o Hindi and kumpleto sila o Hindi whether it will be different. They will have a lot of energy. I met na, nag-preserve na sila ng player in the second half of the fourth part. They are trying to avoid any unpleasant events," Austria said.

Castro vowed to do his best to play well in Game 7.

"Game 7 is Game 7. lahat ng players are very much like laruan ['yan], di ba? Ita-try ko talaga best ko para makatulong sa team," Castro said.

Roger Pogoy scored 31 points in Game 6, but aside from Castro, TNT clearly missed the performance of Mikey Williams, who was limited to a career-low two points in the closed game.

Expect TNT to also keep an eye on the performance of June Mar Fajardo, who had a mediocre Game 6 with 10 points and 12 rebounds, but had a great game in the rubber match of his career.

In their previous five championships, San Miguel played in three sevens, and while some of the current players on the roster at the time weren't part of the Brewers, the Austrians relied on that experience in such a critical situation.

"I will help you. Familiar kami sa ganung situation. It's a matter of life and death for everyone. lagi ko sinasabi sa kanila, we trained for the last three months and that's it. kailangan ilabas nyo yung A-Game niyo. this opportunity, we don't know kung makakabalik pa dito.

"Beating Talk 'N Text is a tough team. I believe they will take a different approach in the seventh game," Austria said.