Puerto Princesa, Palawan — Tropang TNT clinched a quarterfinals berth with their fourth straight win, surviving Mahindra Enforcers, 83-78, in an out-of-town game at the City Coliseum here on Saturday night.
Dylan Ababou knocked down 3 triples in the 4th quarter while Jai Reyes added another one that gave TNT enough cushion to fend off Mahindra’s rally.
“Nagka-opportunity lang kasi medyo match-up kami ni LA (Revilla). Crucial ‘yung panalo going into the playoffs. Sana nga makapag-top 2 pa,” Reyes said.
The former Ateneo point guard rekindled his rivalry with Revilla, who played for La Salle in the UAAP.
Reyes rifled in 4-of-8 three-pointers for 12 markers and he laced it up with 4 rebounds and 2 assists for good measure in his personal match-up against Revilla, who finished with 11, 7 boards and 3 dimes.
Simon David, who battled cramps midway in the final canto, also came up big on the defensive end down the stretch blocking a crucial Augustus Gilchrist’s shot.
“We didn’t play a good game but we knocked down shots when it mattered most,” said Tropang TNT coach Jong Uichico.
Gilchrist led Mahindra with 21 points and 14 rebounds but missed his last 3 attempts as the Enforcers slumped to 4-5 tying the Star Hotshots just below NLEX Road Warriors (5-5) in a wild race for the final 2 quarterfinals slots. – By Alder Almo
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