By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The TNT Tropang Giga just recorded its best shooting performance of the PBA Governor’s Cup grand finals so far after torching the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel with their 21 made three-pointers, 116-104, last April 16, 2023, to tie the ongoing championship series at 1-1.
Aside from bagging the much-needed Game 4 win by a margin of double digits, the laser-focused Tropang Giga squad also reset PBA history after breaking the previous record of the most three-pointers drained in a finals series.
The Tropang Giga immediately pounced on the Gin Kings from the get-go and let it fly from downtown once their first two threes went it.
Negrense Kib Montalbo, the former superstar of the St. John’s Institute, gave the early spark for TNT and is slowly regaining his offensive rhythm after being hobbled by injuries in the past months.
The other TNT snipers then joined the shooting party as the trio of Mikey Williams, Jason Castro, and newly-crowned Best Import of the Conference Rondae-Hollis Jefferson also went unconscious at the start of the second frame.
Despite Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson also coming alive midway through the second quarter to answer the huge TNT offensive avalanche, Ginebra still failed to weather the storm as the bench mob of head coach Jojo Lastimosa fortified the Tropang Giga in the second half.
Jefferson dominated for the Tropang Giga after putting up 36 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists while Castro contributed 17 markers built from four shots made from downtown.
Meanwhile, the trio of Calvin Oftana, Williams, and Montalbo all chipped in 16 markers, with each of them drilling at least a three-pointer.
“We had to go back to our three-point shooting. That’s the story of the series so far. We have a lot of heroes tonight,” said TNT head coach Lastimosa.
This win proved to be a morale booster after the TNT medical staff confirmed that star shooting guard RR Pogoy will not be available for the remaining games of the PBA finals due to a dislocated finger injury.
Pogoy, one of their most consistent scorers and a reliable perimeter defender, also announced that he will be missing Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.
On the other hand, head coach Tim Cone and the rest of the Ginebra squad will be going back to the drawing board and will look to gain the early 3-2 advantage when they meet again on April 19, 2023, in Game 5 of the finals.