Asian basketball

With no Hollis-Jefferson, TNT falls to Chiba Jets anew in EASL

Delfin Dioquino

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With no Hollis-Jefferson, TNT falls to Chiba Jets anew in EASL

DRIVE. Quincy Miller in action for the TNT Tropang Giga in the East Asia Super League (EASL).

East Asia Super League

TNT remains winless in the East Asia Super League as it misses the presence of import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in another loss to Japan B. League powerhouse Chiba Jets

LAGUNA, Philippines – A sloppy first half doomed a TNT side devoid of talent as the Tropang Giga absorbed a 75-66 home beating from the Chiba Jets in the East Asia Super League at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex here on Wednesday, November 1.

Already without Mikey Williams, Roger Pogoy, and Poy Erram, TNT badly missed the presence of import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in its second straight loss to the former Japan B. League champions to fall to 0-2 in Group A.

Hollis-Jefferson sat out and just watched from the sidelines after suffering from gastroenteritis, leaving the Tropang Giga without arguably their best player.

Former NBA player Quincy Miller paced TNT with 22 points and 13 rebounds, although his production came too little, too late as the home team ran out of steam in overcoming a 20-point hole.

The Tropang Giga got buried by as deep as 30-50 before Miller – who missed all of his six field goals in the first half – scattered 14 points in the third quarter to help his side inch within 56-64 going into the final stanza.

A Calvin Oftana bucket pulled TNT within 63-69 with six minutes remaining, but the Jets held on down the stretch to preserve a dominant showing by American import John Mooney, who produced 30 points and 16 rebounds.

Mooney already had 18 points and 9 rebounds as Chiba enjoyed a 50-32 halftime advantage en route to seizing the top spot in Group A with a 3-0 record.

“We’re in trouble. We’re 0-2. We cannot survive with only one import. The teams we’re competing against have three or four imports. It is nice to have that kind of luxury,” said Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa.

“Not having Rondae there definitely put us in a bind.”

Limited to just 2 points in their 93-75 win over TNT in Japan, B. League star Yuki Togashi showed out with 14 points and 5 assists, while former NBA player DJ Stephens added 15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks.

Jaydee Tungcab ended up as the only other Tropang Giga player in double-figure scoring with 10 points.

Back in TNT action after helping Gilas Pilipinas strike gold in the Asian Games, Calvin Oftana put up 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals, but struggled to be efficient as he coughed up 6 turnovers and got blocked four times.

Veterans Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams chimed in 8 and 7 points, respectively, in the loss.

The Scores

Chiba 75 – Mooney 30, Stephens 15, Togashi 14, Ogawa 7, Hara 5, Okura 4, Kanechika 0, Tobin 0, Arao 0, Brown 0.

TNT 66 – Miller 22, Tungcab 10, Oftana 8, Castro 8, Williams 7, Khobuntin 3, Ponferada 3, Cruz 3, Reyes 2, Montalbo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Quarters: 23-14, 50-32, 64-56, 75-66.


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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.