MANILA – TNT Tropang Giga and the Meralco Bolts hacked out contrasting quarterfinal wins on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City to complete the cast of semifinalists in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Tropang Giga booked their seat in the semifinals after drubbing the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 132-105, in the curtain-raiser.
The Fuel Masters, showing heart despite the twice-to-beat disadvantage, erupted for 41 points in the first quarter, but through better defense, TNT held them to a combined 42 points in the next two quarters as they pulled away from there.
RR Pogoy led the Tropang Giga with 25 points, Jayson Castro chipped in 20 points, Glenn Khobuntin added 19 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson put up a triple-double of 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Du’Vaughn Maxwell led the Fuel Masters with 23 points while Jason Perkins added 21 points.
In the nightcap, the Meralco Bolts needed extra time before they ousted the Magnolia Hotshots with a 113-107 win.
Aaron Black forced overtime by putting in a buzzer-beating midrange basket to force a 96-all deadlock. In the extra time, the Bolts kept their poise before pulling away in the final one-and-a-half minutes.
Chris Newsome finished with a career-high 33 points for Meralco, which will face TNT in a best-of-five semifinal series beginning at 5:45 p.m. Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
KJ McDaniels added 27 points while Black and Chris Banchero each chipped in 16 markers with Black grabbing 12 boards for his own double-double.
Paul Lee led Magnolia, who missed the semifinals after making it in the first two conferences this season, with 22 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
At the same time, Antonio Hester added 21 points.
The other semifinal series between San Miguel and Ginebra will begin at 3 p.m. also on Friday at the Ynares Center. (PNA)