PBA: TNT escapes San Miguel on buzzer beater
MANILA, Philippines—Already short of several stars, TNT still managed to take everything San Miguel could offer on Sunday, hacking out a 105-103 victory in a titanic clash between pacesetters of the PBA Governors’ Cup at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Calvin Oftana scored a putback at the buzzer off a Rondae Hollis-Jefferson miss and emerged as the biggest hero for the Tropang Giga, who secured solo leadership of the race with an 8-1 record.
Just as huge was Jayson Castro, who scored nine of his total 21 points in the frantic fourth quarter, where the Beermen tried their best to stay alive.
“These guys are just built for this. I know there will be playoff implications to this game being against San Miguel Beer,” said interim coach Jojo Lastimosa.
“In a message, I just told them to embrace the grind and struggle, and that’s just it. They responded tonight,” he went on.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) February 19, 2023
Oftana finished with 14 points while import Hollis-Jefferson, the club’s import, 19. Mikey Williams had 11 before exiting the game due to an ankle injury he sustained right before intermission.
Cameron Clark had 30 points for San Miguel. CJ Perez tossed in 25 while June Mar Fajardo 12 more in the losing stand that snapped the vaunted club’s two-game streak and ultimately pushed them to No. 2 with a 7-2 mark.
Things are truly looking up for TNT, as far as the PBA’s history is concerned.
Teams that have collected eight wins eventually tabbed a twice-to-beat advantage, according to the league’s stats chief Fidel Mangonon III.
Both clubs go on a break as most of their stars will be loaned to the National Team which will host Lebanon and Jordan this week in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.