By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The TNT Triple Giga impressed in another international 3×3 hoops tournament after receiving the championship title during the inaugural Asia Tour 3×3 league last April 23, 2023, held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
TNT got the last laugh after edging the star-studded The Performance Lab Vietnam, 19-18, in the championship game of the Asia Tour.
Import Raoul Odou carried the Triple Giga in the nip-and-tuck affair after breaking the hearts of Performance Lab with a game-winning putback layup.
With only three seconds left and the Triple Giga seeking a good offensive execution, Odou was in the right place and at the right time when he tipped the missed shot just in the nick of time when the official match buzzer sounded.
It was a valiant effort from the Tripla Giga after missing the services of their superstar Samboy De Leon due to an injury.
Without their main gunner, TNT played as a unit and banked on their signature pick-and-roll game that proved to be Vietnam’s weakness.
Aside from Odou stepping up, former PBA defensive stopper Ping Exciminiano also contributed to the offense when his corner-three prowess picked up midway through the title game.
Exciminiano, who is widely known to be a defensive player when he was still playing in the 5×5 scene, sparked TNT when they rallied from behind.
The leftie FEU talent sank two clutch threes to help the Triple Giga come back which paved the way for Odou’s confidence to rise in the crucial stretch of the match.
With the victory, the Tripla Giga went home with a $10,000 (557, 100 pesos) grand cash prize and will recover before joining another international 3×3 league.