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HomeSportTNT clinches fourth spot, holds off Magnolia

TNT clinches fourth spot, holds off Magnolia

Kelly Williams TNT Tropang Giga PBA

TNT big man Kelly Williams against Magnolia in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–TNT rolled its sleeves early and got to work defensively the rest of the way on Sunday to weather Magnolia, 98-93, and punch a ticket to the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.

Kelly Williams finished with 19 points and eight rebounds while Jayson Casto chipped in 18 in the scoring effort that had the Tropang Giga improving to a 6-5 win-loss record, locking up the No. 4 seed.

“The most important thing in this game was the fight and effort of the players coming off a very painful loss the last time out—to still come in with a lot of courage to play a very strong Magnolia team,” head coach Chot Reyes said shortly after the victory at Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Malate, Manila.

READ: PBA: Converge upsets playoffs-chasing TNT

TNT led by as many as 18 points and then played with poise in the final period to survive Magnolia’s several tries at a comeback for a commendable performance following a gut punch of a loss to horrendous Converge last week.

The Tropang Giga will next battle Rain or Shine in a best-of-three quarterfinals series, set to begin this coming Friday.

The Hotshots got the goods from Mark Barroca and Ian Sangalang, who registered 22 and 21 points, respectively. Aris Dionisio added 14 more in the losing stand that pushed the club down to the No. 6 seed.

A loss by Barangay Ginebra later in the evening will drop Magnolia to the 7th spot and a perilous twice-to-beat disadvantage against the Gin Kings.

The Scores:

TNT 98 – K.Williams 19, Castro 18, Heruela 13, Oftana 12, Ponferrada 10, Pogoy 7, Khobuntin 7, B.Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Montalbo 4, Aurin 2, Galinato 2, Varilla 0

MAGNOLIA 93 – Barroca 22, Sangalang 21, Dionisio 14, Dela Rosa 9, Abueva 7, Jalalon 6, Balanza 5, Lee 3, Laput 2, Reavis 2, Tratter 2, Eriobu 0, Mendoza 0

QUARTERS: 16-14, 47-36, 80-65, 98-93.

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