TNT not only has an opportunity to put an end to its 6-year title drought, but also to break the supremacy of corporate rival San Miguel Corporation.
The Tropang Giga just need one victory over Magnolia in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup in order to conclude SMC’s streak of 11 PBA championships that started five years ago.
It will also make team owner Manny V. Pangilinan even more thrilled if the Chot Reyes-mentored squad will capture the All-Filipino crown as no PBA club from his group has beaten an SMC team in 10 years.
The 75-year-old Pangilinan last enjoyed a title over SMC when the 7-time PBA champs defeated Barangay Ginebra in the 2011 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
However, the MVP-owned teams were no match for SMC on nine seperate championship rounds, with the Tropang Giga losing to Petron/San Miguel in the 2011 Governors’ Cup, 2017 Commissioner’s Cup and 2019 Commissioner’s Cup, the Hotshots when they were known as B-Meg in the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup and San Mig Super Coffee in the 2014 Commissioner’s Cup and Gin Kings in last year’s Philippine Cup bubble.
Tropang Giga’s sister team Meralco lost all three times to Ginebra in the 2016 Governors’ Cup, 2017 Governors’ Cup and 2019 Governors’ Cup.
SMC’s dominance began in the 2016 Governors’ Cup when the crowd darlings knocked down the Bolts in 6 games on import Justin Brownlee’s famous buzzer-beating three that clinched the title.
The Beermen prevailed twice in the 2017 Philippine Cup against sister team Ginebra and the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup over the Tropang Giga before Gin Kings repeated over the Bolts in that year’s Governors’ Cup.
The 27-time PBA Champs won their 4th consecutive Philippine Cup title in 2018 over the Hotshots, Ginebra prevented SMB from winning another championship in the Commissioner’s Cup before the 2014 PBA Grand Slam Champs finally raised a trophy with a 6-game series triumph over Alaska in the Governors’ Cup.
In 2019, the Beermen beat the Hotshots in 7 games in the All-Filipino conference before taking down the Tropang Giga in the Commissioner’s Cup. The Gin Kings finished the season with another victory over the Bolts in the Governors’ Cup.
Last season’s lone conference witnessed the 13-time PBA champs conquered the flagship franchise of the MVP group, four games to one at the Angeles City Foundation Sports in Angeles, Pampanga.
SMC has also won 18 of the last 20 championships since the Hotshots’ 2013 Governors’ Cup triumph as San Mig. The only two squads to win during that run were the Tropang Giga in the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup and Rain or Shine in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.