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After impressive debut, Craig sets sights on looming match-up against TNT’s rival San Miguel

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times After impressive debut, Craig sets sights on looming match-up against TNT's rival San Miguel Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa PBA Season 42 Nash Racela Michael Craig 2017 PBA Governors Cup

Michael Craig knows his rivalry games

A series of crossovers, plus a highlight-worthy euro step and a thunderous one-handed slam, were on display from TNT Katropa import Michael Craig, Jr. in his PBA debut, Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Aside from his crowd-thrilling show, his stats were more impressive, tallying 21 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists, and the win over Kia Picanto.

“It’s a blessing to get the win. It definitely felt good to play in the PBA for the first time with a triple-double and the win,” said Craig, Jr., moments after the Katropa’s 106-96 victory that sent the Picanto to their third straight loss.

Even TNT head coach Nash Racela had nothing but positives to say regarding his wide-bodied reinforcement.

“We didn’t know what to expect from our import, but it’s good that we’re seeing positive things,” said Racela.

“He looks still heavy. Not still his playing weight. But he’s getting there. He lost a lot of pounds.”

Friday night may have been impressive for Craig, Jr. and his team, but they are all set to leave the opening win behind as they now shift their focus to their match next Wednesday against their rivals San Miguel Beermen. And Craig is no stranger to the rivalry as he himself figured in an incident with SMB’s brass during the Finals.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times After impressive debut, Craig sets sights on looming match-up against TNT's rival San Miguel Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa PBA Season 42 Nash Racela Michael Craig 2017 PBA Governors Cup

“We gotta put this behind and focus on the next game,” said the 26-year-old.

“We gotta look past this and focus on Wednesday against a tough team, the team that beat us in the [Commissioner’s Cup] championship.”

It can be remembered that the Phoenix, Arizona-native was one of the choices as then-import Joshua Smith’s replacement in last conference’s title series. A swap did not take place, and that is why Craig, Jr. is eager to lock horns with SMB.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it. I want to play in the championship but unfortunately, they stuck it out. But I respect the decision of the club,” said Craig, Jr. “They stuck with Joshua so I just have to wait for my turn.

“I would definitely want to play in that intensity — I love their [SMB] players, they are very competitive. I just love to go out and be part of that competitiveness.”

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