MANILA, Philippines – Playing without his top gun, defending champion TNT is still a capable team in the opening nightcap of the 47th season of the Philippine Basketball Association, beating Magnolia, 78-72.
Jason Castro and Matt Ganuelas-Rossar stretched together for 10 points to fill the void left by Spitfire Mickey Williams whose contract negotiations stalled and finally gave Trapang Giga a win in the opening campaign of the campaign against the Timplados, a team they broke. Last season at the title showdown.
“It was just a matter of crushing, shouting at the defense, stopping after stop. Fortunately, at this crucial moment, we were able to do just that, “said head coach Chot Reyes at the traditional post-game press conference at Cuba’s Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Troy Rosario led the goal effort with 22 points. TNT is targeting Blackwater, which will play next Thursday at the Yanares Center in Antipolo City.
Hotshots refused to rise an inch for most of the competition, thanks to Ian Sangalang’s steady performance of finishing with 18 points.
Mark Baroka, Geo Jalalon, and Calvin Abueva all finished in double digits but there was no answer for Trapang Giger when it was most important.
Next to the Timplados is the newcomer Converse, who dropped out of a triumphant victory over the screen-lifter.
TNT 78 – Rosario 22, Castro 16, Ganuelas-Roser 9, Khobuntin 9, Pogoy 8, Erram 5, Montalbo 3, Cruz 2, Kings 2, Marcelo 2, Tunkab 0, Banal 0.
Magnolia 72 – Sangalang 18, Baroka 14, Jalalon 12, Abueva 12, Revis 5, Li 4, Ong 4, Dionysio 3, Corpus 0, Della Rosa 0, Laput 0.
Quarters: 22-21, 42-42, 53-55, 78-72.
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