AFTER hurdling a bruising semfinal series against tough Magnolia, defending champion TnT welcomes the extra breather it will enjoy before plunging right back into action in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup finale.

The Tropang Giga finished off the Hotshots in Game 6 last Sunday, 87-74, and with San Miguel Beer (SMB) and Meralco still to settle their Last-4 this Wednesday, the championship opener is likely to start on Sunday yet.

“It’s very big for us,” said TnT coach Chot Reyes, whose troops had been actually waging battle for the past two weeks.

“As you can see, we got a lot of players who are banged up so that extra break is going to come in really, really handy, not only to rest but also to prepare (against either SMB or Meralco),” he added.

The Bolts dragged the Beermen to a deciding Game 7 with a dramatic 96-92 come-from-behind equalizer in their sixth match the other day.

Whichever way that semis matchup goes, Mr. Reyes and company brace for a fierce fight for their throne.

He pointed out the “problems” TnT will have to deal with versus each of its potential rivals, especially in size-wise.

“We all know the problem San Miguel presents with June Mar (Fajardo), with their size and their overall talent,” he noted.

“With Meralco, it’s their scrappiness and the way they play defense. They also have the size in the wing position. Meralco doesn’t post their bigs up, they post wingmen up so that’s a different problem for us. And you know how we like to play small so we have to solve that,” he added.

“It’s going to test our versatility,” he offered. — Olmin Leyba