ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson netted his second straight triple-double and lifted TNT to a 110-80 mauling of Meralco in Game 1 of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals at the Ynares Center on Friday, March 24.
Hollis-Jefferson finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists in just three quarters of work as the Tropang Giga turned what was expected to be a dogfight into a blowout to claim a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five affair.
In control against the Bolts’ vaunted defense, the former NBA player – who also had 2 blocks and 2 steals – saw action for just 30 minutes before he subbed out with three minutes left in the third period and never returned.
The Tropang Giga, after all, hardly needed Hollis-Jefferson in the fourth quarter after building a mammoth lead that allowed them to coast to the 30-point romp.
Mikey Williams scattered 12 of his 14 points in the third frame as TNT outscored Meralco 35-21 in the period to grab a commanding 92-66 advantage.
Roger Pogoy backstopped Hollis-Jefferson in scoring with 21 points, while Calvin Oftana put up 15 points and 9 rebounds, although he left midway through the final canto after tweaking his ankle.
Jayson Castro added 12 points for the Tropang Giga, who extended their impressive winning streak to 10 straight games, seven coming with Hollis-Jefferson.
Hollis-Jefferson nearly completed the triple-double at halftime as he posted 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists through the first two quarters.
“I think Rondae, if he is in a good state of mind … he sees the floor better. Tonight was one of those nights where he sees the floor better,” said TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa.
No player breached the 20-point plateau for the Bolts, with import KJ McDaniels chalking up just 12 points with 14 rebounds in the forgettable defeat.
Bong Quinto chimed in 11 points in the loss, while Chris Newsome scored only 10 points after dropping a career-high 33 points in an overtime win over Magnolia last Wednesday that secured Meralco its place in the final four.
Although the Tropang Giga also played on Wednesday, they hardly looked fatigued as they reached the 110-point mark for the eight time over the last nine games.
TNT 110 – Hollis-Jefferson 22, Pogoy 21, Oftana 15, M. Williams 14, Castro 12, Khobuntin 7, Tungcab 6, Montalbo 5, Chua 4, Erram 4, Acuno 0, Cruz 0, Varilla 0, Marcelo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Meralco 80 – McDaniels 12, Quinto 11, Newsome 10, Almazan 10, Hodge 9, Jose 9, Black 7, Dario 5, Johnson 3, Hugnatan 2, Maliksi 2, Banchero 0, Caram 0, Pasaol 0, Rios 0, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 31-19, 57-45, 92-66, 110-80.
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