PBA Commissioner’s Cup

TNT completes PBA playoff cast, drubs Phoenix as Pogoy returns

Delfin Dioquino

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TNT completes PBA playoff cast, drubs Phoenix as Pogoy returns

DRIVE. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson in action for the TNT Tropang Giga in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Drawing a prolific performance from import Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and welcoming back star Roger Pogoy from a health scare, TNT secures the No. 8 seed in the quarterfinals

MANILA, Philippines – TNT avoided further complications and snagged the last playoff berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 116-96 win over Phoenix at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, January 14.

Drawing a prolific performance from import Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and welcoming back star Roger Pogoy from a health scare, the Tropang Giga secured the No. 8 seed in the quarterfinals with a 5-6 record.

Hollis-Jefferson flirted with a triple-double and put up 35 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals as TNT rode on a big second half to end a three-game skid and eliminate sister team NLEX from contention in the process.

A loss would have set the stage for the Tropang Giga to face the Road Warriors (4-7) in a sudden death for the last playoff spot.

But TNT fought back from a double-digit deficit and dominated the last two quarters, with four locals scoring in double figures to backstop Hollis-Jefferson.

Calvin Oftana finished with 19 points, rookie Kim Aurin fired a season-high 18 points, Brian Heruela posted 14 points and 4 assists, while Pogoy chimed in 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in his season debut.

Pogoy missed their first 10 games of the conference after being diagnosed with myocarditis, a rare heart condition, in September.

His return proved timely, with Pogoy helping the Tropang Giga catch the playoff bus and set up a quarterfinal duel with top seed Magnolia.

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.

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.

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

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.