TNT edges Star, Blackwater clinches playoff berth in Govs’ Cup

Alyssa Rola

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TNT edges Star, Blackwater clinches playoff berth in Govs’ Cup
TNT held off Star to notch their 7th win

MANILA, Philippines – The TNT KaTropa stopped the endgame surge of the Star Hotshots to notch their 7th win, 104-99, in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday, September 17 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. 

TNT led by as much as 17 after a hot offensive showing in the third frame before Star came back within striking distance and cut the deficit to two in the payoff period. 

With import Glen Rice Jr  leading the way, the KaTropa made crucial baskets down the stretch and held on to a victory which propelled them to a 7-3 card in the season-ending conference. 

Rice Jr finished with an explosive double-double of 43 points and 19 rebounds, while Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy had 12 apiece. 

Star’s new import Kristofer Acox collected 18 markers and 18 rebounds, while Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang both added 17. 

Earlier in the day, the Blackwater Elite also clinched a playoff spot after eliminating the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 118-107 to log in their 5th win in the conference. 

With GlobalPort star Terrence Romeo ejected in the second frame, the Elite took advantage and cruised to a big enough cushion of 21 points that helped stave off the Batang Pier in the endgame. 

In his first game since being traded from the Star Hotshots, Allein Maliksi stood out for Blackwater as he put up 22 points coupled with 5 rebounds. 

He got ample help from Roi Sumang, who had 21 points, and Henry Walker, who flirted with a triple-double with 19 markers, 13 boards, and 9 assists. 

Murphy Holloway meanwhile delivered a double-double of his own of 28 points and 23 boards for the Batang Pier, who are now out of the running together with the Alaska Aces. 

Despite losing their Sunday match-up, the Hotshots (5-4) are still through to the quarterfinals following the Blackwater win. –

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