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TNT-Northport game at risk of being moved

Ian Suyu

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Games today:
(AUF gym)
4:00 p.m. — Phoenix vs NLEX
6:45 p.m. — TNT vs Northport

CLARK — League officials are discussing whether Monday’s game featuring pacesetting TNT against Northport in the PBA Philippine Cup will proceed as scheduled or not following the confirmed positive COVID-19 testing of a Blackwater player.

The TNT-Northport duel is scheduled at 6:45 p.m. at the Angeles University Foundation Gym but it might get postponed since Blackwater was the last team that TNT played against with.

If the PBA decides to call it off, only the Phoenix-NLEX clash will be played, the second straight day a game will not be played.

The entire TNT squad has been put in isolation inside the Quest Hotel just like the Blackwater team as the PBA attempts to curb the spread of the virus.

Only the Blackwater player who tested positive has checked out of the hotel for close monitoring.

Meanwhile, if the leagues gives the go-signal for the game to go on as scheduled, red-hot TNT will put its spotless record on the line.

Armed with a 5-0 card in the conference, the Tropang Giga are in a race for the top spot as Barangay Ginebra is also gunning for its fifth consecutive win against Magnolia at press time.

With Roger Pogoy becoming the team’s anchor on offense, TNT is now billed as one of the top favorites to win the historic all-Filipino crown.

After firing a personal-best 45 points in their opening win against Alaska, the streak-shooter led his team to wire-to-wire victories against Terrafirma, San Miguel, Phoenix and Blackwater.

Despite Jayson Castro missing a game due back injury, the string of national talents led by Pogoy alongside gunners Ray Parks, Poy Erram and Troy Rosario maintained the momentum after registering a 109-96 domination against the Elite.

But TNT remains wary of Northport.

“Well, we are still hungry and we are scouting Nortporth or their games. We just need to focus on our goal,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena.

“We are not taking them for granted because we cannot afford it once they explode on the floor.”

Northport won’t be fielding Sean Anthony anew due to a hamstring injury but Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger will be there to make up for his absence alongside a solid support cast beefed up by rookies Sean Manganti and Renzo Subido.

Northport head coach Pido Jarencio admits TNT will be a tough nut to crack.

“This will be a turning point for the team. We will be playing against TNT, we all know that they are the No. 1 team right now and they are really running strong so far,” Jarencio said.

“If we can beat them, then that’s good. But if we lose, we still have a chance to make it in the playoffs.”

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