PBA: TNT’s second half breakaway helps oust Phoenix, secure semis berth
MANILA, Philippines–TNT needed time before showcasing its true form to blow past Phoenix, 132-105, and advance to the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Glenn Khobuntin anchored a big third quarter breakaway as the Tropang Giga got their bearings after only leading by two at the half against a Fuel Masters side that was hoping to force their quarterfinal matchup to a rubber match.
RR Pogoy, import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jayson Castro, Calvin Oftana and Mikey Williams were also key in securing TNT’s place in the semifinals against the winner of the Meralco-Magnolia quarters duel.
“I think there were a lot of frustrations in the first half because probably we’re expecting too much from ourselves that Phoenix is a pushover. But they’re not,” said coach Jojo Lastimosa.
“At halftime, we just said we have to put our frustration levels down. And that’s what we did. They just needed to calm down, pick their spots and play their game,” he added.
Khobuntin scored nine of his 19 points in the third quarter where TNT stretched the gap from a 66-64 halftime advantage.
Pogoy topscored for 25 points with 11 rebounds, seven assists and four steals while Hollis-Jefferson produced 18 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals for the Tropang Giga.
Import Du’Vaughn Maxwell and Jason Perkins scored 23 and 21 points, but Phoenix was eliminated after a campaign that began with coach Jamike Jarin taking the place of Topex Robinson.
TNT 132 — Pogoy 25, Castro 20, Khobuntin 19, Hollis-Jefferson 18, Oftana 15, Williams M. 14, Chua 6, Erram 6, Montalbo 3, Marcelo 2, Williams K. 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Varilla 0, Tungcab 0.
PHOENIX 105 — Maxwell 23, Perkins 21, Mocon 15, Serrano 9, Jazul 8, Manganti 8, Tio 7, Muyang 5, Soyud 3, Lojera 3, Alejandro 3, Garcia 0, Camacho 0, Adamos 0, Go 0.
Quarters: 38-41, 66-64, 100-83, 132-105.
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