May 20, 2024

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Calvin Oftana leads TNT Tropang Giga’s 92-90 victory over Meralco Bolts

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STANDOUT. Calvin Oftana sparks TNT Tropang Giga’s thrilling 92-90 victory against the Meralco Bolts on Sunday, April 7, in the PBA Philippine Cup. PBA PHOTO

Calvin Oftana leads TNT Tropang Giga’s 92-90 win over Meralco Bolts

Calvin Oftana delivered a standout performance to lead TNT to a thrilling 92-90 victory over Meralco in the PBA Philippine Cup clash at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Sunday, April 7.

Oftana, bouncing back from a lackluster outing in the previous game, showcased his scoring prowess with a game-high 26 points, including seven crucial points during an 8-0 run in the final minutes that propelled the Tropang Giga to victory. 

Despite Meralco’s late surge, TNT managed to hold on for the win, snapping their two-game losing streak and improving to a 3-3 record.

Coach Chot Reyes credited the team’s response to their recent struggles, emphasizing the players’ determination and effort in overcoming Meralco’s strong defensive presence. 

Oftana, in particular, made a significant impact off the bench, shooting efficiently from the field and contributing nine rebounds to complement his scoring output.

Oftana’s stellar performance was a redemption of sorts following his subpar showing in the previous game against NorthPort. His fiery display, especially during the second period where he scored 17 points, helped TNT build a substantial lead at halftime and set the tone for their eventual victory.

Jayson Castro, who started for the first time in the tournament, also played a pivotal role with 15 points and six rebounds, while veteran Kelly Williams contributed a double-double performance with 11 points and 13 boards. Rookie Henry Galinato Jr. added 11 markers, providing valuable support off the bench for TNT.

For Meralco, Aaron Black and Cliff Hodge led the scoring with 16 points each, but their efforts were not enough to overcome TNT’s resilient performance. Allein Maliksi and Chris Banchero also contributed double-digit points for the Bolts, who fought hard to erase an early deficit but ultimately fell short in the closing moments of the game.

Despite the loss, Meralco showcased their resilience by battling back from a double-digit deficit and forcing multiple lead changes throughout the game. However, TNT’s determination and clutch plays down the stretch proved to be the difference-maker, securing a crucial victory for the Tropang Giga.

As the PBA Philippine Cup continues, both teams will look to build on their performances and remain competitive in the league. With the season heating up, every game becomes crucial in the race for playoff contention, and TNT’s victory against Meralco marks a significant step forward in their quest for success.

The boxscores:

TNT 92 – Oftana 26, Castro 15, Pogoy 11, K.Williams 11, Galinato 11, Khobuntin 8, Montalbo 5, Aurin 3, M.Ganuelas-Rosser 2, B.Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Varilla 0, Reyes 0, Heruela 0, Ponferrada 0.

Meralco 90 – Black 16, Hodge 16, Maliksi 11, Banchero 10, Quinto 9, Newsome 8, Almazan 8, Pascual 5, Mendoza 2, Jose 2, Torres 2, Pasaol 1, Rios 0.

Quarterscores: 21-25, 49-40, 73-68, 92-90

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