Tropang Giga storm back from 23 points to clip Fuel Masters

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Tropang Giga storm back from 23 points to clip Fuel Masters
TNT's Kelly Williams
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- The TNT Tropang Giga erased a 23-point lead and doused the fire of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 108-101, in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

RR Pogoy led TNT with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Calvin Oftana chipped in 19 markers and nine boards.

Kelly Williams turned back the clock, scoring a conference-high 17 points and hauling down 13 rebounds for the Tropang Giga.

After trailing by as much as 23 points in the first half, TNT found their rhythm on offense and clamped down on defense in the final two frames to complete the comeback.

After fighting fire with fire early on in the final canto, the Fuel Masters simply ran out of gas.

They were trailing by just three points, 87-90, following a pair of freebies by Jason Perkins.

A 15-6 run capped by charities by RR Pogoy turned it into a 12 point hole, 93-105, with 2:06 left.

An Alejandro layup with 32.3 ticks left cut the lead to six, 107-101, but a split from the line by Ryan Reyes iced the game.

On the other end, Alejandro missed a big trey that would have helped them inch closer, shutting the door on any comeback attempt.

Phoenix led by as much as 23 points, 62-39, in the second quarter following a 3-pointer by Jjay Alejandro.

Come the second half, though, the Tropang Giga completely flipped the script.

They outscored the Fuel Masters 42-19 in the third quarter as Williams, Pogoy and Oftana came up big, giving them an 84-81 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Kim Aurin and Glenn Khobuntin added 12 and 11 points off the bench for the Tropang Giga.

Jason Perkins scattered 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Fuel Masters in the losing effort. He scored 21 in the first half.

Alejandro backstopped with 16 points and four dimes.

The Tropang Giga thus returned to the win column as they strengthened their quarterfinals bid with a 5-4 win-loss record.

The playoff chances of the Fuel Masters, on the other hand, dimmed as they slipped to a 3-6 slate.

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