Tropa Breeze Phoenix

The Tropa performed a dominant performance to defeat the Phoenix Fuel Masters 101-86 | PBA Semifinals

Phoenix vs TNT

TNT’s dominant performance against Phoenix Super LPG saw them clinch a semifinals berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup. The team’s roster, composed of seasoned veterans and young talents, was a lethal combination that overwhelmed their opponents.

Led by the quartet of Jayson Castro, Glenn Khobuntin, Roger Pogoy, and Mikey Williams, TNT put on a masterclass in the second half, pulling away from Phoenix and securing the win. Khobuntin, in particular, was impressive, finishing with a career-high 19 points, nine of which came in the pivotal third quarter, sparking TNT’s run from a 66-all deadlock to an 83-71 lead.

Pogoy, Castro, and Williams also played critical roles in TNT’s victory, contributing 59 points to their team’s total combined. Their efforts proved crucial in nullifying the triple-double performance of Phoenix’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who finished the game with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and ten assists, despite being hampered by four fouls in the first half.

Despite putting on a valiant effort, Phoenix failed to keep up with TNT’s relentless charge, eventually succumbing to their opponents’ superiority. TNT’s win secured them a best-of-five matchup with the winner of the Meralco-Magnolia quarterfinals pairing.

Following the game, TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa expressed his pride in his team’s ability to shake off a listless first half and manage their frustration. “There were just a lot of frustrations in the first half, probably because we were expecting too much of ourselves that Phoenix is a pushover, but they’re not,” he explained. “When we could not get the lead, everyone was frustrated. Not only the players but even the coaches.”

Lastimosa credited his team’s resilience and ability to pick their spots and play the game for their victory. “So we said we must pull the frustration level down at halftime. That’s all we did. We just needed to calm down, pick our spots, and play the game.”

TNT’s victory was also notable for the return of Poy Erram, who had been sidelined due to a pre-conference knee procedure. Erram finished with six points and two rebounds in his first game back, providing a welcome sign for TNT since Kelly Williams might be out for the remainder of the playoffs. Despite suffering what appeared to be a pulled right calf muscle, Kelly Williams’s injury status remained uncertain.

Final Thoughts

Overall, TNT’s overwhelming performance versus Phoenix demonstrated the team’s depth and adaptability. Despite facing a difficult opponent in the quarterfinals, TNT outplayed and outscored Phoenix 132-105 to advance to the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.

TNT’s triumph resulted from a collaborative effort, with various players stepping up and contributing to the team’s success. Jayson Castro, Glenn Khobuntin, Roger Pogoy, and Mikey Williams stood out, leading the squad in scoring and guiding repeated second-half rallies that powered TNT to victory.

Although putting up a brave battle, particularly in the first half, Phoenix could not keep up with TNT’s unrelenting offensive barrage. TNT’s well-rounded performance needed more to overcome Rondae Hollis-remarkable Jefferson’s triple-double and Du’vaughn Maxwell’s 23 points and ten rebounds.

Jojo Lastimosa, TNT’s coach, complimented his team’s perseverance and ability to overcome a disappointing first half, attributing their victory to their ability to stay calm, choose their positions, and play their game. He was especially pleased with his team’s tenth consecutive victory, dating back to the eliminations.

TNT’s triumph over Phoenix was resounding, demonstrating the network’s depth, diversity, and remarkable collaboration. They will surely be a team to watch in the upcoming PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals as they aim to extend their winning streak and compete for the crown.


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