TNT dethrones Brgy. Ginebra, books first semis seat

TNT Tropang Giga stamped its might and eliminated Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel, 84-71, Wednesday in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the DHVSU Gym, Bacolor.

After a dismal first quarter shooting, top seeded Tropa tightened its defensive claws in the second quarter coupled with offensive romps from their stars to breakaway for good.

Best Player of the Game Jethro Rosario and rookie sensation Mikey Williams combined for 15 points in the second canto as TNT turned the tables in their favor, 39-33, at the half.

Gilas forward Rosario who scored eight of his 15 points in the pivotal second quarter credited team defense in their victory, “Yung defense naming nagdala sa amin dito. Talagang yung team namin tulong tulong sa depensa. Saka sa offense kung sino open, yung may better shot yun ang tumitira.”

Fan favorite Ginebra was limited to 22/72 (30%) field goal and had no conversion from beyond the arc until the 42.4 second mark of the third quarter off a Jeff Chan’s shot.

Roger Ray Pogoy and John Paul Erram took over offensively in the third quarter to pace the Tropa in breaking away from the eight-seeded Barangay, each scored eight and nine, respectively.

Coach Chot Reyes highlighted the rest, recovery and pushing hard ahead of their semifinal battle, “as much as we would be happy over beating Ginebra, we know that there is a tough opponent ahead and we wanted to make sure that we get to the semifinals.”

The Tropang Giga, who enjoyed a twice to beat advantage, capitalized on a 25/40 (62%) 2-point shooting clip and scored 26 points from turnovers to seal the game and prevent Ginebra to force a rubber match.

Fil-Am guard Williams contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger posted a monster performance of 17 points and 19 boards but not enough to carry his team as their other casts struggled offensively.

The victory propelled TNT to the semifinal battle against the winner of the San Miguel Beermen and Northporth Batang Pier quarterfinal series.

The scores:

TNT 84 – Pogoy 16, Rosario 15, M. Williams 11, Montalbo 10, Erram 9, Castro 7, Khobuntin 5, K. Williams 4, Heruela 3, Reyes 2, Marcelo 2, Exciminiano 0, Alejandro 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0.

Brgy. Ginebra 71 – Standhardinger 17, Pringle 15, Tenorio 9, Ayaay 9, Chan 5, Devance 5, Dillinger 4, Caperal 4, Mariano 3, Salado 0, Tolentino 0

Quarterscores: 17-21; 39-33; 66-49; 84-71.

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