PBA: TNT is in a seven-team scramble for six postseason positions after their shocking setback

May 3, 2024

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In the penultimate week of PBA Philippine Cup play, Converge dealt a crushing blow to TNT’s hopes, while San Miguel continued on its path to an uncommon sweep of the eliminations.

The Beermen defeated Blackwater Bossing 124-109 to win their tenth game and come within a hair’s breadth of remaining undefeated in the elimination rounds thanks to three players who finished with 20 or more points.
Blackwater was officially eliminated from consideration for the postseason after the loss.

The major game at the Philsports Arena saw the FiberXers upset the Tropang Giga 107-103, ruining their own hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals.

With a 2–9 record at the end of the all-Filipino round, Converge effectively denied TNT a trip to the semifinals.

These are the key points learned from Wednesday’s doubleheader at Philsports Arena

  1. Following its upset at the hands of Converge, TNT was the largest victim. The Tropang Giga would advance to the quarterfinals with a victory. To advance to the next round, it must now defeat Magnolia in its final elimination match. But with six games remaining, the competition for the final six quarterfinal slots has grown even more competitive, putting the Hotshots and TNT in a similar situation as do five other teams in the NLEX: Rain or Shine, Meralco, Terrafirma, and Northport. All of these teams have five victories apiece.
  2. Converge successfully concluded its campaign by playing the spoiler. The FiberXers outperformed their 1-10 record from the Commissioner’s Cup with a 2-9 record in the end. In addition, the two wins came at the expense of Meralco and TNT, two teams from the MVP Group, dealing serious blows to their respective postseason campaigns.
  3. How the campaign of Blackwater descended from a glorious beginning to a terrible conclusion. The Bossing once led the standings after winning their first three games. However, the team’s fortunes flipped around with a loss to NLEX, and as of the most recent tally, the number of losses had risen to seven. With both teams already eliminated, the team’s final game is on Saturday versus Phoenix in a non-bearing match. Since the 2022 Philippine Cup, Blackwater has missed the playoffs four times in a row.
  4. San Miguel Beer’s hopes of completing the eliminations without suffering a loss are only hindered by the Meralco Bolts. The two square off in the Batangas City Coliseum on Saturday, and a victory would put the Bolts in position to advance to the quarterfinals.

On the other hand, despite being late to the party, Converge won two of its final three games of Season 48, demonstrating that it possesses the skills necessary to compete against the best PBA teams.

The bigger fish was caught on Wednesday night when the FiberXers triumphed over TNT Tropang Giga, 107-103, in their last Philippine Cup match, capping off a disastrous season for the team.

Although head coach Aldin Ayo stated that Alec Stockton and Justin Arana already form the foundation of this new breed of FiberXers, a lot still relies on the direction upper management wants the squad to go in the upcoming season.

Aljun Melecio (17 points), Schonny Winston (13 points), and Patrick Maagdenberg (12 points) scored double digits in the paint to help the squad upset TNT and ruin the Tropang Giga’s hopes of making it to the quarterfinals.

Although Ayo recognized the efforts made by his second group, it is clear that Converge still requires assistance.

Converge, which finished the season with a 3-19 win-loss record, is predicted to be selected first overall in the next draft, but Ayo says he is unsure about the team’s selection.

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