PBA: By rallying from a 22-point deficit against NLEX, TNT spoils Asi’s retirement and Bolick’s debut; Chris Newsome saves the day for Meralco in a critical situation

Dec 14, 2023

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In the PBA 48th Season Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena on Wednesday, TNT overcame a 22-point deficit to stun NLEX, 113-97, and end a concerning losing run.

The Tropang Giga put on a scorching comeback in the third quarter, scoring 41 points in only that quarter to take a commanding 80-78 lead at the end of the quarter.

From there, TNT never looked back, ending a two-game losing streak and tying the score at 3-3 while ruining Robert Bolick’s NLEX debut and Asi Taulava’s retirement.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 33 points, and Calvin Oftana contributed 29 points, 19 of which came during the Tropang Giga’s third-quarter onslaught.

Another major discovery was Jewel Ponferada, who scored ten of his twelve points during that crucial third-quarter surge.

NLEX lost its fourth straight game and fell to 2-6.

Jojo Lastimosa, the coach of TNT, praised his team’s effort, saying it was lacking in the previous games.

With 25 points, Robbie Herndon led NLEX. Stokley Chaffee, who replaced Thomas Robinson in the game, finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds but was without a win.

In his first game back after joining NLEX via a trade with NorthPort, Bolick finished with nine points. He did, however, only shoot 2 of 8 from the field while dishing out 4 assists.

Taulava officially began his 24th and last season in the PBA by starting for NLEX, overtaking Robert Jaworski as the league’s longest-serving player. In his minute and fifty-six seconds of play, he pulled down a rebound.

Later, during halftime, Taulava’s jersey number eighty-eight was retired at a ceremony.

Phoenix was also able to secure a second quarterfinal berth thanks to the outcome of the game.

The Scores

TNT 113 – Hollis-Jefferson 33, Oftana 29, Ponferada 12, Aurin 11, Montalbo 7, Williams 7, Khobuntin 5, Cruz 3, Tolomia 2, Reyes 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Tungcab 0, Heruela 0, Galinato 0.

NLEX 97 – Herndon 25, Chaffee 15, Ganuelas-Rosser 14, Valdez 14, Bolick 9, Nermal 8, Anthony 8, Nieto 2, Marcelo 2, Taulava 0, Rodger 0, Pascual 0.

Quarter scores: 17-26; 39-86; 80-78; 113-97.

Freshman four-point shooting aided Meralco in stunning B. Ryukyu won the league..

On Wednesday night in the EASL Home and Away season at Studio City in Macau, Chris Newsome didn’t let Meralco down, making clutch basket after clutch jumper as the Bolts defeated Ryukyu Golden Kings in overtime, 97-88.

By converting a rare four-point play to force OT, Newsome saved the Bolts from certain defeat.

In the extra period, he and Cliff Hodge combined to put away the reigning B by importing Zach Lofton and Prince Ibeh. League winners and the force behind Meralco’s historic victory in the competition.

For Meralco, who advanced to 1-2 in Group B, Newsome contributed 27 points and eight rebounds, while Lofton ended with 35 points and six rebounds.

With a second remaining in regulation, Law had a chance to win the game for Ryukyu but was unable to convert, finishing with 27 points and nine rebounds.

The Golden Kings finished with an even 2-2 record despite playing without import Allen Durham and Filipino Carl Tamayo.

The Scores

Meralco 97 – Lofton 35, Newsome 27, Ibeh 15, Hodge 6, Almazan 5, Maliksi 5, Dario 2, Banchero 2, Quinto 0, Rios 0, Bates 0, Torres 0.

Ryukyu (88) – Law 27, Imamura 19, Kishimoto 15, Cooley 10, Onodera 9, Tashiro 4, Maki 2, Watanabe 2, Uematsu 0, Arakawa 0, Matsuwaki 0.

Quarter scores: 17-21; 38-37; 57-57; 80-80; 97-88

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