By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The TNT Tropang Giga weathered the storm in the final stretch of the game against the Magnolia Chicken Timplados to notch a much-needed 93-85 victory last February 3, 2023, held at the Ynares Center.
Despite extending its biggest lead to 16 points, the Tropang Giga still needed a final scoring push after the Chicken Timplados trimmed their deficit to just a single-digit in the fourth quarter.
What was once a 16-point advantage was cut to just a deuce after Magnolia’s superstar Paul Lee erupted and almost brought the house down with his personal scoring frenzy.
Lee almost single-handedly carried the Chicken Timplados to a comeback victory when he helped his team strike back with his wide array of offensive moves that pulled them within two points, 83-81.
The former University of the East (UE) main gunner shot the lights out when he smelled blood and went unconscious from the three-point area.
Just when the Chicken Timplados thought they already snatched the momentum away from the Tropang Giga, the veteran squad showed they still got enough gas left in the tank and countered with their own scoring avalanche.
The Tropang Giga answered with a crucial 8-0 run with only 3:56 remaining in the nip-and-tuck affair, sucking the life out of Magnolia.
After TNT’s response, Lee and the rest of the Chicken Timplados suddenly experienced fatigue and could no longer execute their offensive executions.
TNT had another stellar performance from the sweet-shooting RR Pogoy as the Gilas Pilipinas star dropped 20 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Backstopping Pogoy was the duo of Calvin Oftana and Mikey Williams as the 1-2 punch contributed 14 points each.
On the other hand, Lee led the Chicken Timplados with 24 points including 11 in the final canto while pesky guard Jio Jalalon chipped in 10 points.