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Pogoy heats up late as TNT turns back Ginebra in comeback win to nail No. 1 seed

MANILA, Philippines, March 18 ------ TNT locked up the No. 1 seed in the PBA Governors’ Cup behind a late explosion from Roger Pogoy in a sensational 114-105 comeback win over Barangay Ginebra at the PhilSports Arena.

Pogoy scattered 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Tropang Giga fought back from a 14-point hole to end the elimination round on an eight-game winning streak and finish with a league-best 10-1 record. Calvin Oftana and import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ignited the win-clinching 30-7 run that erased the Gin Kings’ 98-84 lead before Pogoy stole the show.

Pogoy scored 7 straight points near the end of that rally, including a booming triple with 2:25 minutes left that propped up a 110-104 lead as TNT – armed with a win-once bonus – arranged a quarterfinal duel with No. 8 Phoenix. “We talked about being poised the whole game, they did not panic,” said Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa. “The guys made shots when we needed to, they made stops when we needed to.”

Hollis-Jefferson showed the way in the win with 34 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, while Mikey Williams chalked up 25 points and 6 assists. Like Pogoy, Oftana scattered 10 points across that fourth-quarter rally and ended up with 12 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. TNT also drew strength from veteran guard Jayson Castro, who came off the bench and produced 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Ginebra import Justin Brownlee put up 27 points and 10 rebounds in the loss as the Gin Kings missed out on finishing as the top seed and instead settled for third with an 8-3 card. Christian Standhardinger flirted with a triple-double for the Gin Kings with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Scottie Thompson also stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds.

San Miguel which earlier won verses Rain or Shine, 129-116, snagged the second seed with a 9-2 slate and will face No. 7 Converge, while Ginebra will tangle with No. 6 NLEX on Sunday, March 19, at the Araneta Coliseum. Also toting a twice-to-beat bonus like the rest of the teams in the top four, No. 4 Meralco will go up against No. 5 Magnolia at the Big Dome on March 22.

The Scores:

TNT 114 – Hollis-Jefferson 34, M.Williams 25, Pogoy 22, Oftana 12, Castro 12, K.Williams 5, Chua 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Montalbo 0, Varilla 0, Khobuntin 0.

Barangay Ginebra 105 – Brownlee 27, Standhardinger 19, Thompson 19, Malonzo 15, Pringle 10, Gray 5, Pessumal 3, David 3, Onwubere 2, Dillinger 2, Pinto 0, Mariano 0.

Quarters: 23-27, 47-56, 82-93, 114-105.


Editor's note:

The playoffs for the PBA Governors' Cup Quarterfinals is set as follows:

No. 1 TNT Tropang Giga (with twice to beat advantage) - vs - No. 8 Phoenix Super LPG

No. 2 San Miguel Beermen (with twice to beat advantage) - vs - No. 7 Converge FiberXers

No. 3 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (with twice to beat advantage) - vs - No. 6 NLEX Road Warriors

No. 4 Meralco Bolts (with twice to beat advantage) - vs - No. 5 Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots

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