PBA Governors' Cup

Hollis-Jefferson fires 42 as TNT disposes of Meralco, sets up finals duel vs Ginebra

Delfin Dioquino

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Hollis-Jefferson fires 42 as TNT disposes of Meralco, sets up finals duel vs Ginebra

FINALS-BOUND. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson steers TNT to the championship round.

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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson resets his conference-high in points for the second straight game as TNT gets another crack at Barangay Ginebra for a PBA championship

MANILA, Philippines – TNT forged a title showdown with defending champion Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup after giving Meralco the boot with a 107-92 victory at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, March 31.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson erupted for a conference-high 42 points with 11 rebounds and 2 steals for the Tropang Giga, who finished off the Bolts in four games of the best-of-five semifinals.

Eclipsing his previous tournament-best of 40 points in their 99-80 romp in Game 3, Hollis-Jefferson scored 13 fourth-quarter points in Game 4 as TNT prevented Meralco from extending the series to a decider.

Mikey Williams also delivered down the stretch with 7 of his 17 points coming in the final period, completing a crucial four-point play with under two minutes remaining for a 103-92 lead to shut the door on the Bolts.

Hollis-Jefferson then scored 4 straight points for the final tally as the Tropang Giga get another crack at the Gin Kings when their best-of-seven finals tip off on April 9 at the same venue.

It will be the first finals matchup between the two powerhouse teams since the 2020 Philippine Cup, where Ginebra dominated TNT, 4-1, to claim the championship.

Calvin Oftana set the tone in the win, scoring all of his 21 points in the first half after draining five of his seven three-point attempts, while Roger Pogoy added 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

“The guys answered the call. We need everybody to step in because in a playoff situation, points are hard to come by,” said Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa.

“Rondae had an excellent scoring night as usual but he was helped by his teammates.”

KJ McDaniels delivered 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists in the loss as he got sent home by his former team TNT.

Aaron Black chimed in 19 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds for Meralco, while Chris Newsome and Chris Banchero scored 11 points apiece.

The Scores

TNT 107 – Hollis-Jefferson 42, Oftana 21, M. Williams 17, Pogoy 16, Castro 9, Erram 2, Chua 0, Varilla 0, Khobuntin 0, Montalbo 0.

Meralco 92 – McDaniels 37, Black 19, Newsome 11, Banchero 11, Quinto 7, Almazan 4, Hodge 2, Maliksi 1, Caram 0, Jose 0.

Quarters: 22-22, 53-49, 83-75, 107-92.

– Rappler.com

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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.