TNT clinches playoff spot, downs Mahindra
PUERTO PRINCESA – Tropang TNT clinched a quarterfinal spot and forced itself on a four-team logjam for third place, clobbering Mahindra, 83-78, in Petron Saturday Special of the 2016 Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Puerto Princesa Coliseum.
The win allowed TNT to level Alaska, Ginebra, and Rain or Shine, all carrying an identical 6-4 slate.
“All games are important to get a shot at the top. Syempre alam natin na pasok na kami, but we don’t want to be in the bottom naman,” said coach Jong Uichico.
Jai Reyes stepped up big for TNT, knocking down four treys en route to his game-high 12 points.
Jayson Castro also did it all for the Tropa, finishing with 11 markers, seven assists, five rebounds, and a block, while Ryan Reyes added 11 points, four boards, and three assists.
David Simon registered 10 markers, 14 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks, as TNT sat out Ranidel de Ocampo, who was nursing a calf injury.
After a close first half, the Tropa took charge in the third period, dialing it in from rainbow country to hold a 13-point lead, 57-44.
But the Enforcers fought back, breathing down TNT’s neck and getting to as close as two numerous times in the fourth. Mahindra still had its chances in the clutch, but muffed on its tries as the Tropa escaped with the victory.
“We didn’t play well today. We didn’t have the energy, we’re tired, but a win is a win,” said Uichico. “We’re able to keep our composure and discipline, kept it together and kept grinding it out.”
Mahindra will be playing for its quarterfinals’ chances against Star on Wednesday.
Augustus Gilchrist topped the Enforcers with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Karl Dehesa went 4-of-6 for 12 markers in the defeat.
TROPANG TNT 83 – J. Reyes 12, Castro 11, R. Reyes 11, Simon 10, Ababou 9, Tautuaa 8, Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Seigle 6, Rosario 5, Fonacier 4, Carey 0.
MAHINDRA 78 – Gilchrist 21, Dehesa 12, Revilla 11, Canaleta 9, Ramos 6, Aguilar 4, Bagatsing 4, Digregorio 4, Ballesteros 2, Guinto 2, Yee 2, Pinto 1, De Vera 0, Elorde 0, Webb 0.
Quarters: 23-21, 42-38, 64-60, 83-78.
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