The playoff-bound TNT Tropang Giga ended the elimination round on a high note after blowing out the Alaska Aces, 103-85, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Saturday, September 18.
RR Pogoy led the way for the Tropang Giga with 18 points, while Poy Erram added 17 markers as they extended their winning streak to four games and wrapped up the eliminations with an impressive 10-1 record.
“The only thing we talked about [during] pre-game was how we can grow,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes.
“We wanted to try some things in this game that we haven’t been doing, that we haven’t done in the past few games and that’s all we’re focused on now – just to continue growing, getting better as a team.”
Already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage prior to the start of the game, the red-hot Tropang Giga still came out with guns blazing as they led by 19 points late in the first half, 47-28.
The Aces, who are in the middle of a grueling three consecutive game day schedule, managed to trim the deficit back to just 3, 48-51, with 7:39 remaining in the third period, but the Tropang Giga went on another huge run to put the lead back up to double-digits, 68-56, at the end of the quarter.
The Tropang Giga never looked back in the final frame as they once again extended their lead to 17, 83-66, to put the Aces away for good with six minutes left to play in the ball game.
High-scoring rookie Mikey Williams and veteran forward Kelly Williams chipped in 12 points apiece for TNT, while Jayjay Alejando contributed 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from deep in the victory.
Abu Tratter and Jvee Casio put up 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Aces, who dropped to 4-4 in the standings.
TNT 103 – Pogoy 18, Erram 17, M. Williams 12, K. Williams 12, Alejandro 11, Reyes 9, Marcelo 7, Rosario 5, Exciminiano 3, Mendoza 3, Heruela 2, Castro 2, Javier 2.
Alaska 85 – Tratter 12, Casio 11, Marcelino 9, Banal 9, Brodnial 8, Digregorio 8, Browne 7, Ahanmisi 5, Herndon 5, Adamos 4, Teng 4, Ebona 3, Stockton 0, Publico 0.
Quarters: 22-15, 49-37, 68-56, 103-85.