TNT powers through Meralco for 7th win of the season in PBA Governors’ Cup4 min read
TNT Tropang Giga bounced back from a shaky start to dominate Meralco the rest of the game in the PBA Governors’ Cup, securing a 111-104 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Friday, February 17.
Tropang Giga improved to a 7-1 record, solidifying their position at the top of the race despite the absence of local top scorer Roger Pogoy who suffered a left foot injury and had to be taken out in the first half of their game.
TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and guard Mikey Williams led the charge for the Tropang Giga.
Hollis-Jefferson played with a lot of grit, scoring 30 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists while Williams contributed 25 points and five rebounds to the win.
Hollis-Jefferson showed an impressive performance for the second straight game as teammates Calvin Oftana added 19 points and Jayson Castro finished with 16 more points off the bench, making key contributions to the team’s victory.
“I still have enough forces left on my bench and Mikey was a big help, taking that scoring load off Roger, that was huge,” TNT’s interim coach Jojo Lastimosa said.
After an impressive 40-point performance in their previous game, Pogoy had a quiet night in the recent match, only contributing four points.
His night was cut short after sustaining a left foot injury in the latter part of the first quarter when he accidentally stepped on Chris Banchero’s foot.
Although he briefly returned in the second quarter, Pogoy was ultimately sidelined for the rest of the game to prevent further aggravation of his injury.
Lastimosa was pleased with his team’s performance, acknowledging that he had warned them about the challenges of playing back-to-back games.
He commended the team for their resilience, stating that “these guys know how to grind it out.”
He added, “Thankfully, the guys were ready.”
Despite a valiant effort by Meralco, they were unable to overcome TNT’s commanding lead. KJ McDaniels, the team’s import, had a strong showing with 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Aaron Black and Chris Newsome also contributed 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Allein Maliksi and Chris Banchero added 11 points each, but it was not enough to close the gap against TNT.
Ultimately, the Bolts were doomed to a 3-3 record as they struggled to overcome the significant lead that TNT had built throughout the game.
Looking ahead, TNT will face off against San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra, while Meralco hopes to bounce back against their corporate sibling, NLEX.
This victory for TNT showcases their determination and strong performance, and the team is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the ongoing PBA Governors’ Cup.
TNT 111 – Hollis-Jefferson 34, M.Williams 25, Oftana 19, Castro 16, Khobuntin 6, Pogoy 4, Montalbo 4, K.Williams 3, Varilla 0, Chua 0.
MERALCO 104 – McDaniels 26, Black 21, Newsome 20, Banchero 11, Maliksi 11, Hodge 6, Quinto 4, Caram 2, Almazan 2, Pascual 1, Jose 0.