Hollis-Jefferson, TNT buck Pogoy exit, fend off Meralco to stay on top

Feb 17, 2023

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TAKE CHARGE. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson continues to show the way for TNT.

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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson flirts with a triple-double as TNT picks up its fifth straight win and improves to a league-leading 7-1 record

MANILA, Philippines – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson stuffed the stat sheet anew and TNT sustained its blistering start in the PBA Governors’ Cup with a 111-104 win over Meralco at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, February 17.

Hollis-Jefferson posted 34 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals in his second game for the Tropang Giga, who picked up their fifth straight win and seized solo lead in the standings with a 7-1 card.

Mikey Williams backstopped Hollis-Jefferson with 25 points and 5 assists as he took the scoring load following the exit of top gunner Roger Pogoy, who came off a 40-point explosion against Blackwater two days prior.

Sidelined for the entire second half, Pogoy finished with just 4 points in 12 minutes after sustaining an ankle sprain in the opening quarter.

Pogoy returned with eight minutes left in the second period only to sub out two minutes later as he sat out the rest of the game.

But even without Pogoy for most of the second quarter, TNT pulled away and built a 56-42 cushion, with Hollis-Jefferson already netting a double-double at halftime with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Calvin Oftana came off the bench and provided 19 points and 8 rebounds for the Tropang Giga, while Jayson Castro bucked an ankle sprain and contributed 16 points.

The Bolts got buried by as deep as 22 points, 62-84, before they stormed back in the fourth quarter behind timely buckets from KJ McDaniels, Chris Newsome, and Aaron Black.

McDaniels scored 14 of his team-high 26 points in the final salvo, including the layup the trimmed the Meralco deficit to 102-108 with 25 ticks left.

TNT, though, held on thanks to key free throws from Hollis-Jefferson and Castro to deal Meralco its third defeat in six games.

McDaniels also put up 15 rebounds, Black churned out 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Newsome tallied 20 points and 4 assists.

The Scores

TNT 111 – Hollis-Jefferson 34, M.Williams 25, Oftana 19, Castro 16, Khobuntin 6, Pogoy 4, Montalbo 4, K.Williams 3, Varilla 0, Chua 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.

Quarters: 27-25, 56-42, 86-69, 111-104.

– Rappler.com

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