TNT moved closer towards securing the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals after taking down Terrafirma, 127-107, Wednesday, March 9 in the penultimate playdate of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Aaron Fuller, Jayson Castro and Kib Montalbo started out strong before Mikey Williams bucked a pedestrian first half as the Tropang Giga stretched their winning streak to four straight, all via double-digit margins.
The Tropang Giga improved to 6-4, needing to beat the NorthPort Batang Pier tomorrow night at the same venue to claim the quarterfinal incentive as one of the top four finishers.
But a loss may likely put TNT out of the twice-to-beat considerations, depending on the result of another crucial pitting Meralco and Phoenix Super LPG.
There’s a slim possibility that defeat may still result in a slot in the top four or a playoff for No. 8 as long as the Tropang Giga don’t lose by a very huge margin.
“I hope we’re not yet peaking because we still have to work on a lot of things,” said coach Chot Reyes, who now sets his sights on NorthPort in a battle between two of the league’s hottest teams.
Fuller had 24 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks, Castro registered 15 points, three rebounds, six assists and two steals while Montalbo continued his inspired post-FIBA stint with 12 points, four assists and three steals.
Williams lit it up in the first two quarters to produce 16 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Terrafirma finished the conference with a 2-9 record after dropping its last five matches.
Import Antonio Hester tallied 30 points and 13 rebounds while Joshua Munzon wrapped up his rookie season with 16 points despite a 4-of-13 shooting.
Ed Daquioag added 19 points for the Dyip, who played minus Juami Tiongson due to a knee injury.
TNT 127 — Fuller 24, M. Williams 16, Castro 15, Montalbo 12, Erram 12, Rosario 9, Pogoy 8, K. Williams 8, Reyes 7, Khobuntin 7, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Marcelo 3, Cruz 0, Heruela 0, Alejandro 0, Banal 0.
TERRAFIRMA 107 — Hester 30, Daquioag 19, Munzon 16, Batiller 9, Calvo 9, Cahilig 8, Go 5, Pascual 4, Ramos 4, Balagasay 3, Camson 0.
Quarters: 30-23, 61-53, 90-77, 127-107.