PBA: TNT claims last playoff berth in Roger Pogoy's return | Inquirer Sports

PBA: TNT claims last playoff berth in Roger Pogoy’s return

/ 08:55 PM January 14, 2024

Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson TNT PBA

TNT import Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson dunks against Phoenix in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–TNT rediscovered its zest in the second half on Sunday night to pick Phoenix Super LPG apart, 116-96, and claim the final playoff spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Import Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson finished with a near-triple double of 35 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists, while Calvin Oftana chipped in 19 and Kim Aurin a conference-best 18 for the Tropang Giga, who arranged a quarterfinal clash with league-leading and twice-to-beat Magnolia.

“A lot of heroes tonight. I’ve got Kim, and Brian (Heruela) played well. Roger (Pogoy’s) energy is infectious,” head coach Jojo Lastimosa said shortly after the gallant effort at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

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Roger Pogoy TNT PBA

TNT swingman Roger Pogoy.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

“It’s something that we had to earn. We knew we were struggling, but are hoping to fix our problems ahead of our game against Magnolia. I hope we can improve our game little by little,” Lastimosa added as his charges also snapped a three-game slide to end the elimination race.

Heruela tossed in 14 while Pogoy finished with 11 points in his first game back from a cardiac condition—a welcome development for the perennial title contenders, whose series with the Hotshots gets going on Wednesday night at the same venue.

Import Johnathan Williams III had 21 points and 14 rebounds while JJay Alejandro, Sean Manganti and Tyler Tio added twin-digit scores for the 8-3 Fuel Masters who slid to No. 4.

Phoenix will now face Meralco and will figure in that clash needing only to win once to advance.

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TNT’s win also means that Rain or Shine, which triumphed in the earlier match, will face twice-to-beat San Miguel in the knockout stage.

The Scores:

TNT 116 – Hollis-Jefferson 35, Oftana 19, Aurin 18, Heruela 14, Pogoy 11, Galinato 6, K. Williams 4, castro 3, Tungcab 3, Montalbo 3, Cruz 0, Tolomia 0, Khobuntin 0, Ponferrada 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0

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PHOENIX 96 – J.Williams 21, Alejandro 12, Tio 10, Manganti 10, Perkins 9, Rivero 7, Soyud 6, Jazul 5, Daves 4, Mocon 4, Tuffin 4, Verano 3, Muyang 1, Camacho 0, Lalata 0, Garcia 0

Quarterscores: 23-27, 51-53, 88-78, 116-96.

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TAGS: PBA, Phoenix Fuel Masters, TNT Tropang Giga

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