TNT dusts off Phoenix, braces for defense-oriented semis with Meralco

TNT Coach Jojo Lastimosa.  –PBA IMAGES

TNT Coach Jojo Lastimosa. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines – TNT was completely successful Wednesday, scoring 132-105 out of Phoenix to reach the semi-finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup, and coach Jojo Lastimosa is gearing up for a defensive battle. may be waiting for his Tropang Giga whoever they face.

“I liked it. I enjoyed it,” said Lastimosa after the authoritative win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as he was forced to explain in detail when they face Meralco or Magnolia, teams that Tropang Giga can handle. about matches and handle their knack for focusing more on stopping rather than winning by offense.

“I think we just need to play our game,” the cage legend said of TNT’s foul, which topped the league with 118.5 points ahead of the best duel of the year. “I think our offense is natural. When you see us [play], we do not run any . They were just playing.”

The Bolts advance with 113-107 . win at the end of the night after scoring 33 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists from Chris Newsome.

“Knowing that Meralco and Magnolia keep their opponents under 100 [points], it will be a challenge. But I think this team is built for it (both teams’ defences),” he added.

Both are the only teams in the field to limit enemies to less than 100 points, with Magnolia leading with an average of 99.3 as TNT faces the second-best defense in the tournament with an average of 99.8 by Meralco.

Separatist second half

TNT's Glenn Khobuntin helps Tropang Giga win.  –PBA IMAGES

TNT’s Glenn Khobuntin helps Tropang Giga win. –PBA IMAGES

“I think we have enough time to catch them,” said Lastimosa. “I think we have enough guards to confront their guards, and I’m fine with that.”

TNT took control of Phoenix in the second half, with imported Glenn Khobuntin, RR Pogoy and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson leading the break while receiving valuable contributions from Jayson Castro, Calvin Oftana and Mikey Williams.

But Tropang Giga’s victory came at a cost when they saw the veteran Kelly William went down with his calf muscles pulled early, and Lastimosa feared he might miss the conference.

However, Tropang Giga has seen the return of Poy Erram, who has been absent since the previous Games after undergoing a knee procedure. Erram played the latter part of the competition when the outcome was already determined.

Having Erram back is welcome news for Tropang Giga, especially with Williams’ situation being of great concern.

Lastimisa said: “We may need him to play in the knockout stages because now we know that Kelly could get injured at the end of the season. “Poy needs to be on that squad.”

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