TNT Tropang Giga clinches PBA 3×3 Season II 1st leg title

The TNT Tropang Giga 3×3 domination continues. (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The TNT Tropang Giga picked up where they left off and took the PBA 3×3 Season II Leg I championship title after edging rival squad Meralco Bolts, 21-19, during the grand finals.

Fresh off an impressive stint during the 2022 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, the Tropang Giga’s chemistry and familiarity with each other rose to the occasion.

TNT is still composed of the same core trio of Ping Exciminiano, Samboy de Leon, and Almond Vosotros and faced the exact Meralco squad that challenged them three times during the Season I grand finals.

Meralco is bannered by their death duo of Tonino Gonzaga and Alfred Batino and led the Bolts to the grand finals but fell short against the more determined TNT team.

It was a tightly-contested battle the whole match as Meralco went toe-to-toe against TNT’s explosive offensive style of play and kept themselves within striking distance the whole match.

However, the Tropang Giga sank two straight daggers during the extra period courtesy of de Leon’s long bomb and Vosotros’ pocket pass to Exciminiano that sealed the deal for TNT.

Vosotros earned top-scorer of the game honors with nine big points and helped the Tropang Giga 3×3 franchise take home the 100,000-peso cash prize.

“Mindset namin is manalo sa Leg 1. Crucial kasi ang Leg 1 para maganda ang panimula sa season,” said Exciminiano.

Gonzaga and Batino led the Meralco side with six points apiece and established an early 7-2 lead with their waxing hot offense to start the championship match.

However, TNT fought back after Vosotros found his groove from downtown to quickly erase Meralco’s 7-2 lead in just one minute.

Meanwhile, in the battle-for-third clash, the Platinum Karaoke franchise nipped guest team J&T Express, 12-10.

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