TNT pummels Rain or Shine for 1-0 quarterfinals lead

TNT Tropang Giga's Calvin Oftana during a PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals game against Rain or Shine.

TNT Tropang Giga’s Calvin Oftana during a PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals game against Rain or Shine. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–TNT cranked things up in the second half on Friday night to spill Rain or Shine, 116-99, and draw first blood in their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals duel.

The Tropang Giga leaned on the one-two punch of Calvin Oftana and Roger Pogoy at Smart Araneta Coliseum to overcome the tough-as-nails Elastopainters and move closer to a Final Four berth.

“The key tonight was to control Beau (Belga) because I think he is the heart and soul of that team … I think we were able to achieve that and we were able to defend a lot better in the second half,” coach Chot Reyes said shortly after the triumph.

READ: After finding quarters seat, Reyes wants TNT ready for ROS

Oftana finished with 32 points that went with nine rebounds, while Pogoy 26 points spiked with five assists. Kelly Williams chipped 19 in the scoring effort, while Jayson Castro 11.

With Belga limited to just five points, Rain or Shine had to make do with Santi Santillan’s team-best 23 points. Mark Borboran finished with 13 points, while Andrei Caracut, Keith Datu and Johnard Clarito tossed in their own double-digit scores in the losing effort.

TNT pulled away in the final quarter and enjoyed leads of as many as 21 points. The Tropang Giga can wrap things up come Sunday when the series resumes at Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

PBA Scores:

TNT 116 – Oftana 32, Pogoy 26, K.Williams 19, Castro 11, Khobuntin 8, B.Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Aurin 4, Montalbo 3, Ponferrada 3, Heruela 2, Varilla 0, Galinato 0

RAIN OR SHINE 99 – Santillan 23, Borboran 13, Datu 11, Caracut 11, Clarito 10, Ildefonso 8, Nocum 7, Demusis 6, Belga 5, Mamuyac 4, Asistio 1, Norwood 0

Quarterscores: 26-24, 53-52, 85-79, 116-99.

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