TNT regains bearings, stays alive for QF berth

Gryann Mendoza of TNT drives to the basket. (PBA Images)

Grand slam-seeking TNT held its own even in the absence of main man Almond Vosotros in the Leg 1 pool play of the PBA 3×3 Season 2 on Saturday, Jan. 14, at Robinson’s Place Novaliches.

The Tropang Giga initially lost to Pioneer Katibays, 18-16, as Reggie Morido and Gian Abrigo scored eight each for the Elastoseal.

But the multi-titled franchise was quick to bounce back behind a 21-9 whipping of Blackwater to stay alive for a quarterfinals berth in Pool A.

Samboy de Leon finished with seven points and big man Lervin Flores added five and six rebounds in the win as they try to make up for the absence of Vosotros, the undisputed scoring champion of the standalone tournament who is currently on a one-week break after playing non-stop for the team in the past five conferences.

Only Cavitex came out undefeated in Day 1 of the competitions following a sweep of its two-game assignment in Pool B.

The Braves defeated San Miguel, 22-18, and proceeded to destroy NorthPort, 21-3, to advance.

The other berths in Sunday’s knockout stage remain a wide-open race as no dominant teams emerged in the early phase of the pool play, with some of the games still being held as of press time.

Blackwater and Pioneer also ended up tied with TNT in Pool A with similar 1-1 slates as the Red President downed the Elastoseal, 20-17.

In Pool C, Barangay Ginebra took the early lead at 1-0 as it edged J&T Express, 19-18. The Express carry an even 1-1 record by beating Terrafirma, 21-16.

Purefoods also ended its campaign with a 1-1 card in Pool D with a win over Platinum Karaoke, 17-15, but lost a close one against Meralco, 19-18.

Only the eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals stage, where the champion team receives the top prize money of P100,000.

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