By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA – TNT booked the second spot in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup finals after a 107-92 win over Meralco in Game 4 of their semifinal clash at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Friday night.
The Tropang Giga slowly pulled away in the final three quarters, scoring 30 or more in the second and the third periods, before holding the Bolts to only 17 in the fourth to seal the clincher.
Import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led TNT anew with 42 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
The PBA will take a full week off for Holy Week before the best-of-seven series between the Tropang Giga and the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings begins on Easter Sunday, April 9.
All games will be held at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra swept sister team San Miguel Beer to first make the finals.
TNT also won Games 1 (110-80) and 3 (99-80) while Meralco won Game 2 in overtime, 124-117.
Calvin Oftana added 21 points on 8-for-11 field goals for TNT, including 5-of-7 on threes, with eight rebounds off the bench.
KJ McDaniels had 37 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists for Meralco, which missed the championship series of the season-ending conference after making it in four of the last five editions.
TNT 107 – Hollis-Jefferson 42, Oftana 21, M.Williams 17, Pogoy 16, Castro 9, Erram 2, Chua 0, Varilla 0, Khobuntin 0, Montalbo 0.
MERALCO 92 – McDaniels 37, Black 19, Newsome 11, Banchero 11, Quinto 7, Almazan 4, Hodge 2, Maliksi 1, Caram 0, Jose 0.
Quarters: 22-22, 53-49, 83-75, 107-92 (PNA)