In an intense and thrilling game that went down the wire, the TNT Tropang Giga escaped past the San Miguel Beermen with a 105-103 win at the PhilSports Arena Sunday, February 19.
The game was a crucial one, as it had a major impact on the standings of the PBA Governors’ Cup. The win for the Tropang Giga saw them claim the top spot in the standings with an 8-1 win-loss record, while the Beermen fell to second place with a 7-2 record.
The game was a true test for the Tropang Giga as they had to play without two of their key players, RR Pogoy and Mikey Williams. Williams suffered an ankle sprain with two minutes remaining in the second quarter and was unable to return for the rest of the game. Despite the setback, the Tropang Giga fought hard and displayed their resilience and determination to secure the win.
The game was close throughout, with neither team able to establish a significant lead. The Tropa, led by Jayson Castro, Kelly Williams, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Calvin Oftana, managed to take a six-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
However, the Beermen, with the likes of Cameron Clark, CJ Perez, and June Mar Fajardo, fought back to tie the game at 83-all at the start of the fourth quarter.
The two teams traded baskets in the final minutes, with the Beermen tying the game for the last time at 103 with a three-point play by Cameron Clark. With just 13.1 seconds remaining on the clock, the game looked set to head to overtime. However, Oftana had other ideas.
As the clock wound down, Oftana positioned himself perfectly to grab an offensive rebound and scored the game-winning basket at the buzzer, outsmarting two Beermen players in the process. Oftana finished the game with a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with six assists.
Castro led the scoring for the Tropang Giga with 21 points, while Hollis-Jefferson recorded 19 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists.
Despite the loss, the Beermen had some impressive performances, with Clark leading all scorers with 30 points and 11 rebounds. Perez contributed 25 points, while Fajardo and Jericho Cruz added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The win for the Tropang Giga was a huge morale boost for the team, especially considering they were missing two of their top players. The victory also sends a strong message to the rest of the league that they are a force to be reckoned with. Both teams now turn their attention to their upcoming stints in the EASL Champions Week in Japan before returning to PBA action in mid-March.
TNT 105 – Castro 21, Hollis-Jefferson 19, K.Williams 16, Oftana 14, M.Williams 11, Chua 8, Khobuntin 8, Varilla 4, Montalbo 4.
SAN MIGUEL 103 – Clark 30, Perez 25, Fajardo 12, Cruz 10, Manuel 8, Tautuaa 6, Enciso 5, Lassiter 4, Bualandi 3, Brondial 0, Ross 0, Brondial 0.