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TNT outlasts Converge in overtime victory despite Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ejection

ANTIPOLO — TNT pulled out the necessary stops in the extra period on Saturday night to survive Converge, 101-98, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. despite the early exit of its top gun and import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Jayson Castro came through in the final frame as the undermanned Tropang Giga found another hero—an unlikely one—in Jewel Ponferrada who put the finishing touches on the club’s first victory.

“As a veteran and one of the leaders of this team, we had to show that we’re still capable of fighting without an import,” said the fleet-footed playmaker and cornerstone, who finished with 23 points and eight rebounds at Ynares Center here.

“The character of TNT is a winning tradition and we needed to show that,” he went on.

Hollis-Jefferson had 14 points before his ejection early into the third period, while Calvin Oftana chipped in 19 points in the effort that had the perennial playoff contenders improving to a 1-1 record in the race.

Hollis-Jefferson was thrown out after incurring a second technical foul, hurting the chances of an already depleted TNT roster already missing several stars and role players.

Import Tom Vodanovich had 25 points while Jerrick Balanza chipped in 18, Justin Arana 12, and Kevin Racal 10 to the scoring effort as a win continued to be elusive for the FiberXers who dropped to 0-2.

The Scores:

TNT 101 – Castro 23, Oftana 19, Hollis-Jefferson 14, Ponferrada 12, Khobuntin 10, K. Williams 7, Heruel 5, Tolomia 4, Reyes 3, Galinato 2, Cruz 1, Tungcab 0.

CONVERGE 98 – Vodanovich 25, Balanza 18, Arana 12, Racal 10, Tallo 9, Winston 8, Nieto 6, Stockton 6, Melecio 4, Fornilos 0, Wong 0, Maagdenberg 0, Santos 0.

Quarterscores: 28-22, 56-39, 74-64, 95-95, 101-98.