Feb 28, 2024

Tropang Giga pull off steal on Phl Cup opening night

TNT played with so much patience, staying right behind Rain or Shine before sneaking in at the finish and pulling off a steal in the opening night of the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo Wednesday.

The Tropang Giga salvaged a 108-107 decision to mark coach Chot Reyes' return on the TNT bench and the TNT debut of Brandon Ganuelas Rosser.

Calvin Oftana strung up a three-pointer and two charities at winning time to highlight a sterling 23-point outing also laced with 14 rebounds and three assists.

RR Pogoy and Kim Aurin, for their part, tossed in 22 and 21 points, respectively, as Ganuelas-Rosser put in 15 points and 14 rebounds in his initial outing with the Tropang Giga.

Jayson Castro was a fifth TNT player to finish in double figures with 14 going with seven assists and four rebounds.

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The Tropang Giga needed all these numbers to stand their ground in a tough face-off with the Elasto Painters who were in the lead for the most part of the game and enjoyed a gap as wide as 10.

But Oftana and his teammates would have the last laugh, coming through with a winning conference debut after barely finishing in the Top 8 in the recent Commissioner's Cup.

The Gilas mainstay fired a three-pointer as the Tropang Giga grabbed a two-point lead at 106-104 in the last 2:00 mark.

TNT held on to the lead all the way to the finish as the Elasto Painters were limited to two points in the last three minutes and 42 seconds of the game.

Leo Santillan and Adrian Nocum fired 20 points to top score for the E-Painters in their first game in their post Rey Nambatac era.

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Andrei Caracut contributed 15 points, Shaun Ildefonso chimed in 11 and Beau Belga chipped in 10 markers plus seven rebounds and six assists.(SB)

The Scores:

TNT 108 - Oftana 23, Pogoy 22, Aurin 21, Ganuelas-Rosser B. 15, Castro 14, Galinato 4, Khobuntin 4, Ganuelas-Rosser M. 3, Montalbo 2, Williams 0, Ebona 0, Reyes 0, Heruela 0, Ponferrada 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 107 - Nocum 20, Santillan 20, Caracut 15, Ildefonso 11, Belga 10, Datu 8, Demusis 6, Clarito 6, Mamuyac 5, Borboran 4, Norwood 2, Concepcion 0.

QUARTERS: 26-26, 51-52, 83-88, 108-107