May 24, 2024

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TNT Tropang Giga overcomes NLEX Road Warriors, 104-101

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CLOSE WIN. The TNT Tropang Giga nips NLEX Road Warriors, 104-101, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday, April 13. PBA PHOTO

In a thrilling showdown in Candon, Ilocos Sur, Calvin Oftana delivered a career-best performance, dropping an impressive 37 points to lead TNT Tropang Giga to a hard-fought 104-101 victory over NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday, April 13.

Oftana’s stellar showing continued his remarkable run, showcasing the same sharpshooting prowess, earning him victory in the PBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout in Bacolod. As a key player for Gilas Pilipinas, Oftana dazzled the crowd in Candon, propelling the Tropang Giga past the Road Warriors and into a tie for fourth place with Barangay Ginebra Kings, both sporting 4-3 records.

RR Pogoy also made significant contributions for TNT, chipping in 21 points, while Glenn Khobuntin added 11 points to the scoreboard. This victory marked TNT’s second consecutive win after their narrow 92-90 triumph over Meralco, positioning them alongside Ginebra in the standings and within striking distance of league leaders San Miguel Beer.

Despite holding an 11-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, NLEX couldn’t withstand TNT’s relentless pressure down the stretch. Robert Bolick, Rob Herndon, and Michael Miranda led the Road Warriors’ charge, but their efforts fell short as they were limited to just 14 points in the final period.

Oftana spearheaded TNT’s comeback with a remarkable 28-14 surge in the fourth quarter, showcasing his scoring prowess and clutch performances when it mattered most. In addition to his impressive point total, Oftana also contributed 12 points and six assists, demonstrating his versatility and impact on both ends of the floor.

Pogoy made his presence felt with seven rebounds to complement his scoring output, while veteran Kelly Williams added seven boards, four points, and two assists. 

Jayson Castro also made a significant impact for TNT, contributing 16 points to help secure the crucial victory.

Despite NLEX’s strong start and commendable efforts from Bolick, Herndon, and Miranda, the Road Warriors couldn’t maintain their momentum in the face of TNT’s relentless onslaught in the fourth quarter. Despite holding a halftime lead of 57-49, NLEX faltered in the final period, ultimately succumbing to TNT’s determined comeback bid.

With this hard-fought victory, TNT Tropang Giga solidified its position in the standings and demonstrated its resilience and determination to compete at the highest level in the PBA Philippine Cup. As they continue their campaign, Oftana and his teammates aim to build on this momentum and make a strong push towards playoff contention and championship glory.

The boxscores:

TNT 104 – Oftana 37, Pogoy 21, Castro 16, Khobuntin 11, Galinato 7, B.Ganuelas-Rosser 5, K.Williams 4, Montalbo 3, Ponferrada 0, Reyes 0, Aurin 0.

NLEX 101 – Herndon 25, Bolick 23, Miranda 17, Fajardo 14, Semerad 6, Valdez 6, Nieto 4, Marcelo 3, Amer 2, Nermal 1, Rodger 0, Anthony 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 29-27, 49-57, 76-87, 104-101.

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