NorthPort and TNT KaTropa battle for a share of the top spot when they face separate rivals in the continuation of the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
The Batang Pier (4-1) and the Tropang Texters (4-1) can tie pace-setting Blackwater (5-1) at the top should they beat their respective opponents.
NorthPort is bound to do battle with Magnolia (0-1) at 4:30 p.m. even as TNT duels Barangay Ginebra (2-2) at 7 p.m. in the nightcap at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Showing that it is for real, the Batang Pier made a bold statement in its last assignment.
NorthPort exploded to come up with a resounding 121-88 rout of five-time Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer last week despite missing star Stanley Pringle.
Batang Pier coach Pido Jarencio credits his team’s early success to its built maturity and character.
“The team’s character is already there,” said Jarencio.
NorthPort needs that against the win-hungry Hotshots, who had a forgettable debut after losing to Alaska in a bad way, 80-103.
Like NorthPort, TNT also kept its consistency by taking down the Beermen in the same fashion, 110-97, last Saturday.
Terrence Jones continues to deliver the goods for the Tropang Texters and he now faces the ultimate test in reigning Best Import Justin Brownlee.
Brownlee’s Gin Kings was hammered by Rain or Shine, 81-104, the last time out last Friday.