PBA: Glenn Khobuntin finds best time to light up scoreboard for TNT
MANILA, Philippines—Usually a spark plug off the bench, TNT’s Glenn Khobuntin lit up the scoreboard when the Tropang Giga needed a scorer to help them advance to the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.
Khobuntin, who only averaged 5.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and close to an assist per game before Wednesday, answered the call for Tropang Giga to bury Phoenix, 132-105, and seal a date with either Magnolia or Meralco in the semis.
The 31-year-old wingman scored 19 markers built on five shots from beyond the arch to help Roger Pogoy’s game-high 25 points for the TNT victory.
Khobuntin, however, gave credit to his teammates rather than receiving praise, saying his scoring exhibition was due to the advantage his squad gives him.
“My points are just advantages of the open shots given to me. That’s what I always do, after all. They saw me in the corner at times today and I just took those good shots,” Khobuntin said at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
The former Terrafirma cager also gave big props to team veteran Jayson Castro for helping the troop “stay composed” at the end of a tightly-contested first half.
“I just listened to kuya Jayson [Castro]. He’s really the one who helped us stay composed after the first half. He just told us to play at the level of TNT basketball and we just did it in the second half.”
Castro finished with 20 points to go along with four dimes on a blistering 66 percent field goal shooting clip.
Coach Jojo Lastimosa also lauded his role player for coming up big in the all-important game, saying his stellar performance was bred out of his perseverance in practice.
“Even if Glenn wasn’t shooting the three, he’s been working in practice. [He’s] always the first guy who’s there. Maybe what I told him at practice yesterday just materialized when I told him to not think too much about his offense. It (offense) will be there, if you’re wide open, shoot it,” the top coach said.
“It’s your defense you need to work on. Getting the pressure off of Glenn in terms of offense, though, I’m sure it helped him.”
WATCH: TNT back in the semis after eliminating Phoenix in their PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal showdown. | @jonasterradoINQ pic.twitter.com/Zn27E95igC
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) March 22, 2023
Lastimosa even poked fun at Khobuntin, answering sternly when asked by the media if TNT would look for him more in the semifinals.
“No,” the mentor said in jest.
Either way, however, Khobuntin said he would take whatever role he would be given in the next round.
“What coach said, not every time my spot would be open but I can do cuts, rebound, defense and run the floor. If I get open then I’ll shoot it,” Khobuntin said.
“Tapos titingnan ko na lang siya (Lastimosa),” the 6-foot-3 said jokingly.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.