RR Pogoy and new import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson provided a fiery one-two punch as TNT mauled Blackwater, 138-116, to clinch a quarterfinals berth in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
Pogoy and Hollis-Jefferson ignited a blistering first half from the Tropang Giga which immediately caught the hapless Bossing on the ropes to extend their win streak to four and pick up its sixth win against a loss.
TNT caught fire from the distance with Pogoy accounting for four of the team’s 11 triples to already put up 22 points by the end of the first two quarters. He wound up with 40 points and seven triples on top of his nine rebounds as the game was practically over at the break with the Tropang Giga taking a 68-50 lead.
Joining hands with Pogoy was Hollis-Jefferson who didn’t look like playing his first game in the PBA after exploding for 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. He was also a vital cog in that first half assault, unloading 18 of his output during that stretch.
TNT head coach Jojo Lastimosa was glad their gamble to replace high-scoring Jalen Hudson with Hollis-Jefferson paid off as the game not only showed how versatile the former NBA player is but also displayed how he can impact the offense of the Tropang Giga.
“Roger has actually had more open shots than I have seen him in a long time, ang daming libre, di lang sa Roger,” said Lastimosa who also had three other players scoring in double digits.
“Si Rondae we know that’s one of his skills he knows when to pass. He had I think one triple-double in the NBa and that’s I think the highest stage so ibig sabihin marunong talaga sya pumasa all we have to do is knock it down. These guys if you give them open looks they’re gonna knock it down eventually,” he added.
Blackwater never really put up a run that would threaten TNT as the lead even ballooned to as many as 31 points, 105-74, in the third. The Tropang Giga’s offense also continued to wax hot in the second half, reaching the century mark with 4:04 left in the third quarter after a booming triple from Pogoy.
Troy Williams, after two high-scoring game,s cooled down and finished with just 22 points apart from his eight rebounds and six assists while Jvee Casio added 21 but were not enough as the Bossing continued with their free fall, absorbing their fifth straight defeat for a 1-5 record in the standings.