April 20, 2024

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TNT outlasts Rain or Shine 108-107 in PBA Philippine Cup opener

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NAIL-BITING VICTORY. The TNT Tropang Giga escapes with a 108-107 win over Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on the opening night of PBA Season 48’s Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo on February 27, 2024. SHOTSBYDAGZ VIA TNT TROPANG GIGA FACEBOOK

TNT Tropang Giga showcased remarkable patience and strategic prowess, orchestrating a stunning comeback to secure a nail-biting 108-107 victory over Rain or Shine on the opening night of PBA Season 48’s Philippine Cup at the  Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo on February 28, 2024.

The triumphant return of coach Chot Reyes to the TNT bench, coupled with the debut of Brandon Ganuelas Rosser, set the stage for an enthralling showdown. 

The Tropang Giga faced adversity, trailing behind for a substantial part of the game as the Elasto Painters enjoyed a lead that stretched to a daunting 10 points.

However, TNT’s resilience came to the forefront, with a collective effort from key players sealing the deal. 

Calvin Oftana emerged as the night’s hero, delivering a stellar performance with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists. His clutch three-pointer and two crucial free throws in the dying moments of the game solidified his status as a game-changer.

RR Pogoy and Kim Aurin made substantial contributions with 22 and 21 points, respectively, while the new addition to the Tropang Giga, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, showcased his skills with an impressive 15 points and 14 rebounds in his debut.

Veteran Jayson Castro also played a pivotal role, finishing with 14 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. The balanced scoring from these key players proved essential as they battled against a persistent Rain or Shine squad.

The turning point of the game came in the final two minutes, as Oftana’s three-pointer propelled TNT to a two-point lead at 106-104. From that moment on, the Tropang Giga managed to maintain their lead, stifling the Elasto Painters and limiting them to a mere two points in the last three minutes and 42 seconds of the game.

For Rain or Shine, Leo Santillan and Adrian Nocum emerged as the top scorers, both contributing 20 points in their first game post-Rey Nambatac era. Andrei Caracut added 15 points, Shaun Ildefonso chimed in with 11, and Beau Belga made a notable impact with 10 markers, complemented by seven rebounds and six assists.

The victory marked a strong start for TNT Tropang Giga in the Philippine Cup, a stark contrast to their recent Commissioner’s Cup performance where they barely secured a Top 8 finish. With the return of Coach Chot Reyes and the promising debut of Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, the Tropang Giga sent a clear message – they are a force to be reckoned with in PBA Season 48.

The boxscores: 

TNT 108 – Oftana 23, Pogoy 22, Aurin 21, Ganuelas-Rosser B. 15, Castro 14, Galinato 4, Khobuntin 4, Ganuelas-Rosser M. 3, Montalbo 2, Williams 0, Ebona 0, Reyes 0, Heruela 0, Ponferrada 0.

Rain or Shine 107 – Nocum 20, Santillan 20, Caracut 15, Ildefonso 11, Belga 10, Datu 8, Demusis 6, Clarito 6, Mamuyac 5, Borboran 4, Norwood 2, Concepcion 0.

Quarterscores: 26-26, 51-52, 83-88, 108-107

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