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TNT ends 6-year title drought



(PBA Images)

TNT Tropang Giga put a fitting end to its dominant run in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup with a title-clinching 94-79 victory over Magnolia at the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Friday.

The lopsided result capped a 4-1 triumph for the Tropang Giga, who finally ended a six-year title drought.

“We dedicate this to our management and owners who have been very patient. It’s been six years. Thank you for their support and continued belief in this team,” said TNT head coach Chot Reyes.

“I have to give this award really to the players, the guys who are here behind me, they really put in the effort.”

Reyes paid tribute to his players’ resilience.

“They stayed together throughout the adversity and this is just a great reward for their hardships,” he said.

Rookie Mikey Williams led TNT with a game-high 24 points. He was later named the finals’ Most

Valuable Player.

Roger Pogoy added 19 points and veteran Jayson Castro tossed in 10 markers.

The Tropang Giga once again banked on their strong start and led by as many as 20 points early in the game, before taking a 47-33 halftime advantage.

Pogoy, Williams and Castro combined in an 8-0 run to give TNT an 88-63 lead and extinguish Magnolia’s comeback hopes.

It marked the first time the Tropang Giga won the All-Filipino since 2012.

After losing in the All-Filipino finals to Barangay Ginebra last year, TNT served notice of its intention by ending the eliminations with a 10-1 win-loss record.

The Tropang Giga edged San Miguel Beer in seven games in the semifinals.

Ian Sangalang led Magnolia with 18 points and nine rebounds, but the Hotshots were undone by a horrendous 16 percent shooting beyond the arc.

Calvin Abueva added 14 points and seven boards, while rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi contributed 11 markers.


The scores:

TNT (94) — Williams 24, Pogoy 19, Castro 10, Reyes 9, Rosario 9, Khobuntin 9, Montalbo 7, Erram 7, Williams 1, Heruela 0, Exciminiano 0, Alejandro 0, Marcelo 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0

Magnolia (79) — Sangalang 18, Abueva 14, Ahanmisi 11, Barroca 10, Lee 7, Dela Rosa 5, Dionisio 5, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brill 0, Corpuz 0, Melton 0, De Leon 0, Capobres 0

Quarters: 21-14, 47-33, 72-53, 94-79