For J&T, the third time’s a charm.
The Express finally solved the puzzle that is TNT, hacking out a close 21-19 win to become Leg 2 champions of the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 Second Conference Season 2 Sunday at Robinsons Malabon.
Joseph Sedurifa was the man of the hour for the Express, draining the game-winning deuce that clinched for the franchise its first ever top podium finish in the standalone tournament.
Sedurifa had with eight points, and big man Robert Datu with seven for J&T as coach Ryan Monteclaro also got valuable contributions from veteran Marvin Hayes and Robin Roño in pocketing the P100,000 prize money.
The win somehow eased the pain of the Express’ two previous losses to the Tropang Giga during the Leg 5 and 6 finals of the First Conference.
Almond Vosotros topscored with 14 points for TNT, including the game-tying deuce that made it a 19-19 contest with 1:18 left.
It was also Vosotros who tied the game at 15-all before Sedurifa and Datu each scored on a pair of 2 to give the Express some breathing room, 19-15.
The loss denied TNT a second straight leg crown after winning Leg 1 last week.
The quartet of Vosotros, Lervin Flores, Mark Acuno, and Chris Exciminiano nonetheless, took the P50,000 runner up purse.
Earlier in the semis, Vosotros had 11 points in TNT’s 21-17 win over Cavitex, while J&T leaned on the nine points of Sedurifa to nip Barangay Ginebra, 21-18, to forge their third title duel.
Cavitex denied Barangay Ginebra another podium finish behind a 16-12 win in the battle for third place.
Jorey Napoles and Dominick Fajardo each had seven points for the Braves, who took home P30,000.
The loss prevented the Kings from duplicating the third place finish they had in Leg 1.