TNT extended its win streak to five games, beating Meralco, 111-104, on Friday in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
For the Tropang GIGA, who maintained first place with a 7-1 win-loss record and also the longest current winning streak in the conference, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson spearheaded a second-quarter attack that resulted in a close to triple-double of 34 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
TNT led by a total of 22 points thanks to Mikey Williams’ 25 points, 10 of which came in the third quarter while Roger Pogoy missed most of the game because of an injury.
Pogoy, who had just scored 40 points against Blackwater the previous Wednesday, rolled his ankle in the second quarter while trying to drive past Chris Banchero. When he left the game after the second period’s first six minutes, Pogoy came back briefly but never again.
TNT repelled Meralco’s late charge as well, bringing their record to 3-3 after the loss.
Despite Pogoy’s injury, TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa claimed he was unconcerned.
He still has a sufficient number of troops available. By relieving Roger of the burden of scoring, Mikey has been a big help. Lastimosa emphasized how important that was as his team prepared for their Sunday matchup with San Miguel.
TNT led, 84-62, in the third quarter as Jayson Castro added 16 points and Calvin Oftana added 19 points, 13 of which came in the second half.
Aaron Black scored 21 points and KJ McDaniels added 26 for Meralco, which fell behind by a significant margin after taking an early 11-4 lead.
TNT 111 – Hollis-Jefferson 34, M. Williams 25, Oftana 19, Khobuntin 6, Montalbo 4, Pogoy 4, K. Williams 3, Chua 0, Varilla 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Meralco 104 – McDaniels 26, Black 21, Newsome 20, Banchero 11, Maliksi 11, Hodge 6, Quinto 4, Caram 2, Almazan 2, Pascual 1, Jose 0.
Quarter scores: 27-25; 56-42; 86-69; 111-104.