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PBA: TNT repulses Magnolia to seal QF spot

Kelly Williams played another vintage to give TNT the fourth seed. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--TNT clinched a spot in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals after escaping a late gasp from Magnolia for a 98-93 win on Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Tropang Giga sizzled offensively in the second and third quarters to open an 80-65 lead against the Hotshots.

Magnolia mounted a fourth-quarter rally and cut the lead down to six, 89-83, with 3:36 left, but Jayson Castro scored four straight points to up TNT's cushion back up to 10, 93-83, with 2:13 left and held on until the end.

Kelly Williams led the Tropang Giga, who tied their victims at 6-5, with 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

Castro added 18 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and one steal off the bench, while Calvin Oftana had 12 points, 11 rebounds, and one assist for the PLDT franchise, which locked in a best-of-three quarterfinal series against Rain Or Shine beginning Friday night.

Mark Barroca put up 22 points, two rebounds, three assists, and three steals, while Ian Sangalang put up 21 points, seven rebounds, and two assists for the Hotshots, who could fall to as low as the seventh seed if the NLEX Road Warriors beat Barangay Ginebra later Sunday.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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