TNT KaTropa to bring back Smith?
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum) 4:30 p.m. – Blackwater vs TNT KaTropa 7 p.m. – Meralco vs Magnolia
TNT KaTropa was mum on reports that it is set to bring back Joshua Smith in time for today’s match against winless Blackwater in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Attempts by the Bulletin to confirm TNT’s decision to hand Jeremy Tyler the pink slip to make room for Smith’s arrival proved futile at press time, leaving a big question as to who the KaTropa will parade in the 4:30 p.m. opener.
Smith, listed at 330 lbs, is remembered for helping TNT reach last season’s Commissioner’s Cup finals, losing in six games to the San Miguel Beermen despite his imposing presence. The 6-foot-10 Seattle native is coming off a stint in Japan where he led his Kyoto team to the playoffs.
Agent Sheryl Reyes tweeted late Wednesday that the KaTropa had replaced Tyler, who struggled in Sunday’s 110-100 loss to the Alaska Aces at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
It was TNT’s first defeat of the conference after starting the conference with three straight wins.
Regardless of the import situation, the KaTropa seek to get their fourth win in five matches before the All-Star break behind top locals Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Jericho Cruz.
Blackwater is in dire need of its first win after five straight losses to start the conference prompted management to replace coach Leo Isaac Rain or Shine Meralco Alaska TNT KaTropa Magnolia GlobalPort Columbian Phoenix Ginebra NLEX San Miguel Blackwater with Bong Ramos.
Meanwhile, Vernon Macklin looks to go out in style when Magnolia battles Meralco in the other game at 7 p.m.
Macklin dons the Hotshots jersey for the final time, facing former college rival Arinze Onuaku and the Bolts, before heading to China to play in the National Basketball League.
Macklin is coming off a 19-point and eight-rebound evening two days ago when Magnolia ripped Columbian, 126-101.
The Hotshots are eyeing their third straight win after starting the conference by absorbing an 89-87 defeat to the Phoenix Fuel Masters last May 6.
Like TNT, Meralco seeks its fourth win in five matches to claim a share of the lead with idle Rain or Shine. 4 3 3 3 2 3 3 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 2 4 2 5