The TNT Tropang Giga continued their winning streak as they defeated the TerraFirma Dyip, 131-109, in the ongoing 2023 PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday, February 11.
After a free throw from TNT Tropang Giga import Jalen Hudson tied the match at 27-all in the last few seconds of the first quarter, the TerraFirma Dyip had struggled to make buckets as they play catch up in the next few quarters.
At the end of the third period, the TNT Tropang Giga managed to extend their lead by as much as 21 after Calvin Oftana's two-point jump shot was successful. TerraFirma Dyip player Ed Daquiaog had a pull up jump shot to close the third quarter with them trailing by 19 points, 77-96.
TNT v TerraFirma PBA Recap 2023 PBA Governors Cup
In the last quarter, the TerraFirma Dyip ran out of gas as the TNT Tropang Giga managed to extend their lead by as much as 30 points, 124-94, with only four minutes remaining in the game. In the end, the TerraFirma Dyip failed to trim down TNT Tropang Giga's huge deficit to absorb their third loss.
TNT Tropang Giga import Jalen Hudson had another impressive night with 36 points and six rebounds while Marcus Williams helped Jalen in their fifth victory with 26 points and six assists.
Roger Pogoy scored 16 points while Calvin Oftana had a double-double performance from the bench with 15 points and 10 rebounds. TNT Tropang Giga team captain Kelly Williams had 10 markers.
On the side of the TerraFirma Dyip, Jordan Williams carried much of a load of his team with 38 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists while the ever-reliable Juami Tiongson added 18 points and five rebounds.
Juan Gomez De Liano and Eric Camson scored 13 points apiece.
With their win, the TNT Tropang Giga improved to a 5-1 win-loss standing while the TerraFirma Dyip slid down to a 2-3 win-loss record.
PBA Recap: TNT Tropang Giga Looks Dominating in the Stat Sheet
Look at the stat sheet, the TNT Tropang Giga had complete domination of their matchup against the TerraFirma Dyip. The TNT Tropang Giga had an impressive 56% field goal efficiency in 48 out of 85 shooting higher compared to TerraFirma Dyip's 46% field goal efficiency in 42 out of 90 attempts.
In two-point field goals made, the TNT Tropang Giga had an impressive 64% efficiency with 31 of their 48 shots making the basket compared to the 55% efficiency of the TerraFirma Dyip with only 27 out of their 49 shots successful.
In three-point field goals made, the TNT Tropang Giga had a 45% shooting efficiency with 17 out of 37 attempts making their way to the bucket higher than the TerraFirma Dyip's 36% efficiency with only 15 out of their 41 attempts successful.
The TNT Tropang Giga also led the statistics in terms of second-chance points, with 16 compared to TerraFirma Dyip's 14, and fast break points with 14, compared to TerraFirma Dyip's 9. They also capitalized on TerraFirma Dyip's 13 huge turnovers, converting it to 22 points. Meanwhile, the TNT Tropang Giga had 12 turnovers, but the TerraFirma Drip only converted it to nine points.
Calvin Oftana's off-the-bench explosion made a huge difference in terms of bench points with the TNT Tropang Giga's bench players managing to score 38 points, compared to just 32 of the TerraFirma Dyip.
In the defense department, both teams managed to have 46 rebounds each, but the main story of the evening was the seven huge blocks of the TNT Tropang Giga while the TerraFirma Dyip only recorded two.
The TNT Tropang Giga also had one more steal with eight than TerraFirma Dyip's seven.
The three things the TerraFirma Dyip won in the statistics are free to throw efficiency, assists, and points in the paint. While all three things matter, it still didn't help them win the match since their lead in those departments was not that much.
PBA Recap: Jalen Hudson Wants to Win, Not Score Points
Before facing the TerraFirma Dyip, the TNT Tropang Giga first dealt the Converge FiberXers its first loss, 128-122, behind its import Jalen Hudson's explosive 56-point and 12-rebound performance.
Against the TerraFirma Dyip, the numbers Jalen Hudson went down to just 36 points and six rebounds, but he made it clear that he didn't mind his scores as long as his team wins.
"I just wanted to come out here and be aggressive. I know that this game, if we played around, (the Dyip) could stay in the game. I just wanted to do my part so the rest of the guys would follow," he told the press after their victory against the TerraFirma Dyip.
"I made an emphasis on getting aggressive, getting the guys involved ¬¬– and (this) was just kind of the outcome."
Although Jalen Hudson is now averaging 33.83 points, 9.33 rebounds, and 4.17 assists per game, he once recorded a low output of 14 points and four rebounds in TNT Tropang Giga's 93-85 win against the Magnolia Chicken Timplado Hotshots.
"I just thought that was a really low-scoring game. A couple of other guys had it going, and I try to be an unselfish player. It's about the team – they're scoring, we're winning then that's what it's about.
"Most importantly, it's the win for me. I know that for the most part, I'm gonna be able to be aggressive and have points but I also want to share the love as well."
With their win against the TerraFirma Dyip, the TNT Tropang Giga now sits comfortably in third place.
PBA Recap: Coach's Corner Jojo Lastimosa Has Serbian Consultant Lale Gorunivoc
After their victory against the TerraFirma Dyip, TNT Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa revealed that they were taking advantage of their opponent's one-day rest. Before facing the TNT Tropang Giga on Saturday, February 11, the TerraFirma Dyip first played against the Blackwater Bossing on Thursday, February 9, where they take home the victory, 119-106.
"We wanted to have a good start today and we talked about not giving them a chance at the beginning. We talked about them playing back-to-back games so we should have a lot of energy. I think we accomplished that," he said after leading his team to its fifth victory in six matches.
The ongoing 2023 PBA Governors' Cup may be TNT Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa's baptism of fire as he just assumed the head coaching position just a few weeks before the start of the conference, but he has with him one of the brightest minds in basketball in the team's Serbian consultant Lale Gorunivoc.
"In fairness, he works hard in practice. He works with the players. He holds skills works with them," Jojo Lastimosa, who himself is a PBA Legend, said to reporters after their victory against the TerraFirma Dyip.
"He gave us sets to work, and he is teaching the 1-3-3 defense to the team because he is familiar with the European kind of defense. It's a huge help for us."
The TNT Tropang Giga will next face the Blackwater Bossing on Wednesday, February 15, while the TerraFirma Dyip will try to get their third win against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Thursday, February 16.