The TNT Tropang Giga turned the tide in Game 2 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, unleashing a barrage of three-pointers to level their best-of-seven series against the Barangay Ginebra Kings with a 95-82 victory at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday evening, April 12.
The Tropa bounced back from their Game 1 defeat by hitting 15 of their 35 three-point attempts, a huge improvement from their dismal showing in the previous game.
Calvin Oftana, Mikee Williams, RR Pogoy, Glenn Khobuntin, and Jayson Castro each contributed with at least two treys each, a far cry from their previous game, where they struggled with only nine conversions out of 35 attempts.
Oftana, who was instrumental in their comeback win from their Game 1 102-90 defeat, said, “Sabi namin sa sarili namin tapos na iyong Game 1. Kinalimutan na namin iyon (We told ourselves that Game 1 is over. We forgot about that).”
TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa credited Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s all-around performance for the win.
“We decided not to take it lightly, and Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) was everything for us tonight,” Lastimosa said in a post-game interview.
Jefferson recorded an impressive performance, nearly achieving a triple-double with 23 points, 19 rebounds, and nine assists.
Williams also had an outstanding game, scoring 21 points, including five three-pointers.
RR Pogoy contributed 17 points, with three of them coming from beyond the arc, and added seven rebounds and three assists to his tally.
The Kings had a hard time containing the Tropa’s offensive onslaught, despite Justin Brownlee’s near-triple-double performance.
Brownlee only managed to score 12 points, but he grabbed 10 rebounds and issued eight assists. Christian Standhardinger tried to carry the load for the Kings but to no avail, finishing with 29 points and 11 rebounds.
The Tropa surged ahead in the first quarter, taking a 27-16 lead with five three-pointers from Williams, Jefferson, Castro, and Khobuntin.
Williams and Jefferson both had 13 points at halftime, while Brownlee struggled with only seven points on a woeful 2-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from the free-throw line.
TNT continued to build momentum despite the early fouls committed by Poy Erram, who had three fouls in the first 86 seconds of the game, including a flagrant foul penalty on Standhardinger.
The Tropa weathered the storm and held on to a 51-39 lead at halftime.
Ginebra tried to mount a comeback, narrowing the gap to just two points at 80-82 in the fourth quarter.
But Williams and Pogoy responded with back-to-back three-pointers, sparking a decisive 13-0 run that sealed the win for the Tropa.
Despite the loss, Ginebra coach Tim Cone remains confident in Brownlee’s ability to bounce back.
Brownlee has had his fair share of struggles in the past but has always managed to redeem himself in the next game.
Cone believes that Brownlee will respond positively in their next match.
The series is now tied at one game apiece, and both teams are expected to come out strong in Game 3.
TNT hopes to carry the momentum of their Game 2 victory, while Ginebra aims to regain their winning form and take the lead in the series.