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MANILA, Philippines – The TNT Tropang Giga completed one of the best shooting performances yet in the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup as they embarrassed the reigning conference champion Barangay Ginebra, 119-92, at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, February 18.
With the win, the Tropang Giga equalized their record to 4-4 with a two-game winning streak while Ginebra dropped its third straight game, and fell to a 3-3 slate.
Veteran forward Ryan Reyes, who averaged just 2.9 points prior to this game, went completely ballistic from long range and dropped 24 points on 8-of-9 triples in just 19 minutes.
The 38-year-old did most of his damage in the pivotal third quarter, where he nailed five triples for a huge 15-point spurt. Thanks to his shooting spree, TNT’s 62-56 lead early in the period swelled to 77-60 off a 15-4 run with 6:27 left.
Although Ginebra rattled off eight straight points to get within nine, 68-77, Reyes and fellow veteran Jayson Castro conspired to practically seal the deal with another 17-4 salvo for the 94-72 gap with 44 ticks left in the third.
The Gin Kings simply could not keep up after that offensive explosion as the Tropang Giga peaked with a 32-point gap, 118-86, off a Brian Heruela jumper with 1:18 left in the final frame.
Super rookie Mikey Williams led TNT’s early barrage with 15 of his game-high 26 points coming in the first quarter alone, while Castro added a conference-high 18 markers plus 4 assists and 3 rebounds in just 13 minutes off the bench.
Longtime Ginebra import Justin Brownlee led the forgettable loss with 25 points, while Japeth Aguilar tallied 14 of his 18 markers in the first period alone.
“We liked our aggressiveness, and we said we got to figure out a way to [sustain] the aggression without fouling,” said TNT head coach Chot Reyes after the game.
“I think we were fortunate to counter [Ginebra’s] adjustments, and well, we shot the lights out. We wish we could shoot like that every night, but it just makes the game easier.”
All in all, a whopping 21 of the Tropang Giga’s 43 made field goals came from beyond the arc, while the Gin Kings only managed a paltry 6-of-22 clip from deep in response.
The majority of the Tropang Giga roster will now focus on their Gilas Pilipinas duties at the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asia qualifiers, and will return to the PBA on March 4 against the hapless Blackwater Bossing.
Meanwhile, Ginebra will try to end its losing skid against its tough sister team San Miguel Beermen on Sunday, February 20, 6:45 pm.
TNT 119 – M. Williams 26, Reyes 24, Castro 18, Fuller 13, Montalbo 9, Khobuntin 9, Banal 5, Rosario 4, Heruela 4, Marcelo 3, K.Williams 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Cruz 0, Erram 0.
Ginebra 92 – Brownlee 25, J. Aguilar 18, Standhardinger 16, Thompson 11, Tolentino 9, Tenorio 5, Pinto 4, Chan 2, Caperal 1, Enriquez 1, Ayaay 0.
Quarters: 34-28, 60-53, 94-74, 119-92.