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AND then they were champs no more.

Forced to win two games to keep their hopes alive, the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel were dethroned just in their first game in the quarters by a more methodical TNT Tropang Giga, who blitzed the Gin Kings, 84-71 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The top seeds were on gigahertz mode as they made their presence felt early, taking care of business and never let up.

It was a sweet victory for the Tropang Giga, the losing finalists against the same team in last year’s PBA Philippine Cup.

With this defeat, does it look like it was a bad decision to trade away their celebrated big man Greg Slaughter? Some would say yes, but they’ve won championships before even without “Gregzilla.”

This year, the Gin Kings barely made it through to the quarters, needing every inch of their never-say-die spirit to get over the Phoenix Fuel Masters to end up No. 8 in the elims.

But that spirit was no match for the determined Tropang Giga, who will next face the winner of the San Miguel Beermen-NorthPort Batang Pier quarterfinal series for a best-of-seven semifinals.


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