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MANILA, Philippines – TNT kept its place atop the PBA 3×3 summit even as other teams retooled their lineups in a bid to contend for the title.
Retaining their core of players, the Tropang Giga kicked off the second season by ruling Leg 1 of the First Conference after a 21-19 escape over Meralco in the finale at Robinsons Place Antipolo on Sunday, September 11.
Almond Vosotros fired 9 points, while Ping Exciminiano posted 8 points, including the game-winning layup, on top of 5 rebounds as TNT completed its unbeaten run to capture its sixth leg title dating back to last season.
The new-look Bolts, who added Leo de Vera and Ken Mocon, sent the game to overtime after a two-pointer from mainstay Tonino Gonzaga knotted the score at 19-19 with a second left in regulation.
But the Tropang Giga got the job done in extra period as Samboy de Leon gave TNT a 20-19 lead before Exciminiano drained the game-winner.
De Leon and Lervin Flores added 2 points each and combined for 11 rebounds and 4 assists in helping the Tropang Giga pocket the top prize of P100,000.
Alfred Batino had 6 points and 9 rebounds, while Gonzaga chimed in 6 points and 3 rebounds for Meralco, which bagged P50,000.
Meanwhile, Platinum Karaoke secured the last podium spot after hacking out a 12-10 win over new team J&T Express in the third-place match.
Terrence Tumalip delivered all-around numbers for Platinum Karaoke with 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in the low-scoring affair.
A former member of the Bolts squad that won three leg crowns last season, Joseph Sedurifa saw his 7 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists go down the drain as J&T Express settled for fourth place in its PBA 3×3 debut.
Blackwater finished fifth followed by Pioneer ElastoSeal, NorthPort, Purefoods, Cavitex, San Miguel, Ginebra, and Terrafirma. – Rappler.com