TNT ousts Meralco, sets up Finals showdown vs Ginebra

TNT Tropang Giga dumped the Meralco Bolts, 107-102, to claim the second championship ticket in the 47th PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Friday night, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang won the best-of-five semifinal series, 3-1, to arrange a race-to-four championship duel with the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

Ginebra was the first to advance to the Finals after sweeping the San Miguel Beermen, 3-0.

The Finals will begin on April 9.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson carried the Tropa on his shoulders by firing a game-high 41 points, while Calvin Oftana (21 points), Mikey Williams (17) and RR Pogoy (16) combined for 54 markers to give their high-scoring import a much-needed support.

The solid team effort allowed the Tropa to return to the Finals after faltering in the All-Filipino Finals against the Beermen.

The Tropa also gave Jojo Lastimosa his first finals appearance in his very first stint as a coach.

Lastimosa will be taking on Ginebra coach Tim Cone–his longtime mentor at Alaska Milk where they won numerous titles.

It is also the first time since 2011 that TNT is making a Finals appearance in the Governors’ Cup.

KJ McDaniels paced the Bolts with 37 points, while Aaron Blacked pitched in 19 markers.

Image courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

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