TNT snapped Brgy. Ginebra’s win streak at 4 and dealt Richard del Rosario his first defeat as interim coach via 106-92 beating Sunday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at Quezon City.
The Gin Kings lost for the first time since a 5-point drubbing from Manila Clasico rival Magnolia last June 19 and fell to 6-2 while the Tropang Giga bounced back from a lopsided loss to San Miguel last Thursday to finish the preliminary round with an 8-3 card.
RR Pogoy led the charge for the flagship team of the MVP group with 30 big points on 12-of-23 shooting with 2-of-5 coming from beyond arc. The many-time national team player also had 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and a block in 35 minutes of play.
“We were stung by the last defeat specifically how poorly we defended and all our discussion in practice is to just get back our identity,” said TNT head coach Chot Reyes during the post-game presser. “I thought it was a big improvement from giving 115 points in the last game to just 92 this game to a very tough team.”
“It’s the recovery for the players because we played a very tough schedule, practically 11 games in one month alone. Number two, getting out injured players back on track. Hopefully, this is a good time for Brian Heruela, Troy Rosario, and Ryan Reyes to heal,” he added in reference to the team’s upcoming 12-day break.
Mikey Williams added 19 points while Glen Khobuntin, Kelly Williams and Kib Montalbo contributed 16, 12 and 10 markers, respectively.
Japeth Aguilar paced the Gin Kings with 18 points while LA Tenorio and Christian Standhardinger added 15 apiece with the latter hauling down a game-high 12 boards. Arvin Tolentino scored 14 while Scottie Thompson finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Gin Kings will try to bounce back when they take on the Meralco Bolts on Wednesday, July 13, 6:00pm at the same venue.