PBA Philippine Cup

TNT exacts revenge, sends PH Cup champion Ginebra home

Delfin Dioquino
TNT exacts revenge, sends PH Cup champion Ginebra home

WIN ONCE. Troy Rosario and TNT need only one game to eliminate Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals.

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Armed with a twice-to-beat bonus, TNT leaves no doubt why it is the favorite to win the PBA Philippine Cup title by dethroning Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals

TNT put the clamps on Barangay Ginebra and sent the defending champion crashing out of the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals with an 84-71 rout at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Wednesday, September 29.

Armed with a twice-to-beat bonus after finishing the eliminations as the top seed, the Tropang Giga left no doubt why they are the favorites to win the title by exacting revenge on the Gin Kings for their finals loss last season.

Roger Pogoy anchored the balanced attack of four TNT players scoring in double figures with 16 points and 4 steals, while Troy Rosario chimed in 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.

It was Pogoy and Rosario who closed all doors on any possible Ginebra comeback, knocking down back-to-back treys with five minutes left as the Tropang Giga stretched their lead to 21 points at 82-61.

Mikey Williams, on of the top contenders for Best Player of the Conference, delivered 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in the win, while Kib Montalbo added 10 points on a healthy 4-of-5 clip.

Big man Poy Erram made his presence felt with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks for TNT, which will face the winner between San Miguel and NorthPort in the semifinals.

Christian Standhardinger churned out a monster double-double of 17 points and 19 rebounds, but the shorthanded Gin Kings struggled offensively as a whole, shooting a paltry 30% from the field.

Expectations were high for Ginebra going into the Philippine Cup after the team added Standhardinger in the offseason to boost its title-retention bid.

But the Gin Kings failed to live up to their potential as they never won back-to-back games and needed to beat Phoenix in a one-game playoff to reach the quarterfinals.

Aside from problems of cohesion, Ginebra also lost several key players, with Japeth Aguilar going down with a knee injury and Scottie Thompson getting sidelined due to health and safety protocols.

Pitted against the mighty Tropang Giga, the Gin Kings unraveled.

Stanley Pringle put up 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in the losing effort as no other Ginebra player scored in twin digits.

The Scores

TNT 84 – Pogoy 16, Rosario 15, M. Williams 11, Montalbo 10, Erram 9, Castro 7, Khobuntin 5, K. Williams 4, Heruela 3, Reyes 2, Marcelo 2, Exciminiano 0, Alejandro 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0. 

Ginebra 71 – Standhardinger 17, Pringle 15, Tenorio 9, Ayaay 9, Chan 5, Devance 5, Dillinger 4, Caperal 4, Mariano 3, Salado 0.

Quarters: 17-21, 39-33, 66-49, 84-71. 

– Rappler.com

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.