Defense momentum killer?


MOMENTUM is one weapon worth clinging on in any human activity. That’s what TNT is going to brandish in its Wednesday Game Five clash against Barangay Ginebra at the Smart Araneta Coliseum beginning 5:45 p.m.

It stems from TNT’s 116-104 Game Four win over Ginebra on Sunday that leveled their best-of-seven series at 2-2, thanks mainly to TNT’s voraciousness for threes.

Mocking Ginebra’s seemingly ludicrous defenses all night, TNT totaled 21 triples made for a Finals league record, reducing the duel for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup into a race-to-two affair.

So consumed by his wards’ heroic efforts that TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa lost all shades of humility.

“I’m not surprised,” said Lastimosa, also smarting from the absence of his prolific scorer RR Pogoy even as he said, “We are gonna miss Roger in this series.”

Oh, yeah?

Pogoy hurt a finger during TNT’s 117-103 loss to Ginebra in Game Three, bidding farewell in the season-ending conference.

What also added momentum manna for TNT was the stunning win by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson over Ginebra’s eminent Justin Brownlee for the Best Import award just minutes before Game Four had begun.

Inspired obviously by the accolade at the expense of six-for-six Finals champion Brownlee, Hollis-Jefferson fired 36 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, issued five assists and swiped three steals.

Brownlee managed a decent 28-point output, but his teammate Christian Standhardinger was a power failure with only 10 points to his name after being named Best Player of the Conference.

“Sometimes, you can’t have everything you want,” Standhardinger said.

Of the 21 Game Four triples buried by TNT, 16 came from Calvin Oftana, Mikey Williams, Jayson Castro and Bacolod boy Kib Montalbo.  All four had four threes each in a massive back-up for Hollis-Jefferson.

What’s the antidote to TNT’s momentum?

Only Ginebra coach Tim Cone knows.

He gave us a hint.

“We also hit our threes in Game Four,” said Cone.  “But we didn’t defend.”

Got the drift?

THAT’S IT Happy birthday to Ricky-Malaya’s beloved son, Ikap M. Sadiwa (April 19), who is MayaSoh’s lone sibling.  Ikap’s Grandpa also happens to turn a new leaf today for a rare twin feast in the family steeped in tradition.  Sure, one can skip the party, but at the risk of absorbing the wrath of Granny Sol Juvida.  Here’s to happiness. Cheers!

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