Oftana Calvin Oftana of TNT Tropang Giga makes a shot. PBA photo

Tropang Giga boost playoff chances

April 25, 2024 Robert Andaya 96 views

TNT Tropang Giga overcame a forgettable first half to roll back Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 108-102, and boost their chances to make the playoffs in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last Wednesday.

Still smarting from an 83-87 defeat at the hands of Barangay Ginebra last April 19, the Tropang Giga fell behind by 20 points, 42-62, after two quarters but outscored the Fuel Masters, 42-19, in the third period to turn the game around.

RR Pogoy, Kim Aurin, Calvin Oftana and Kelly Williams joined hands in a crippling third quarter performance that enabled the Tropang Giga to complete an astounding come-from-behind triumph.

Pogoy finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, Williams had a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds and Oftana contributed 19 points and nine rebounds.

Aurin chipped in 12 points, including three of TNT’s six three-point shots in the third period.

Khobuntin added 11 points, including 2-of-2 from the rainbow territory.

“The most important thing was that at halftime we felt that we’re not giving up. We’re in the belief that we could still win the game,” said coach Chot Reyes as the Tropang Giga climbed to fifth place with a 5-4 win-loss record.

“We first narrowed our focus on stopping their three-point shooting. We adjusted our defense to take that away,: explained Reyes, referring to Phoenix’s 10 triples in the first half.

The Fuel Masters were limited to only to two treys in the last two quarters.

Jason Perkins led all scorers for Phoenix with 26 points, although he was limited to only to five points in the second half.

The scores:

TNT (108) – Pogoy 23, Oftana 19, Williams 17, Aurin 12, Khobuntin 11, Castro 7, B.Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Montalbo 4, Heruela 3, Ponferrada 2, Reyes 2, Galinato 0, M.Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Ebona 0.
Phoenix (101) – Perkins 26, Alejandro 16, Tuffin 13, Rivero 11, Salado 10, Jasul 8, Muyang 4, Mocon 4, Garcia 3, Daves 3, Soyud 2, Lalata 1, Verano 0, Camacho 0.
Quarterscores: 22-29, 42-62, 84-81, 108-101.

Games Friday:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. Phoenix vs. Meralco
7:30 p.m. — Magnolia vs. San Miguel