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New import powers TNT past Converge

I just tried to be aggressive, that’s pretty much it

TNT import Jalen Hudson was just unstoppable.

Hudson did the heavy lifting on offense as he scattered a conference-high 56 points to carry Tropang Giga to a 128–122 win over erstwhile unbeaten Converge on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

TNT knotted its second straight win to join its victim with a 4-1 win-loss record.

Hudson proved to be a nightmare for the FiberXers going lights out on the field with an efficient 21-of-31 shooting.

“I just tried to be aggressive, that’s pretty much it,” Hudson said. “My teammates gave me confidence. Going into this game I know it’s a big game for us and for them as well.”

Hudson shot 6-of-11 from the three-point area, pulled down 12 rebounds, and handed out four assists in a marathon 41 minutes of play for the Tropang Giga.

“We got to give credit to Converge, they’re obviously a very good team. They’re top four or five teams. I just tried to come out and be aggressive, that’s it,” he said.

TNT pulled away late in the fourth quarter after battling Converge in a tug-of-war in the first three periods.

Kelly Wiliams pushed the Tropang Giga’s lead to 120-108 off an alley-oop two-handed slamdunk off a lob pass from Pogoy with 2:30 left in the game.

But the FiberXers refused to go down without a fight, chopping down their deficit to 126-122 with 17.3 ticks left in the clock on a step-back triple by Jamaal Franklin.

Pogoy sealed the win on a couple of free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining.

Mikee Williams got points while Pogoy added 18 markers for TNT. Paul Varilla, who averaged 0.5 points per game in his previous outings, contributed with 12 marker on a 4-of-5 field goal clip while Jason Castro had 10.

TNT trailed by seven points in the third quarter before pouring down 35 points in the fourth period.

“We were having a difficult time containing their transition. It was a huge talking point at half time even before the game it was the game plan to slow them down. But they’re used to playing in a fast pace but the good thing is we’re able to keep in step with them throughout the game,” TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa said.

“I just thought that the guys fought hard it might now show in the score but every point that we got we earned it.”

Franklin finished with 47 points with 14 rebounds and seven assists in a lost cause for Converge. Maverick Ahanmisi got 21 while Abu Tratter had 11.

The scores:

TNT (128) — Hudson 56, Williams 19, Pogoy 18, Varilla 12, Castro 10, Oftana 5, Chua 3, Khobuntin 3, Williams 2, Marcelo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Converge (122) — Franklin 47, Ahanmisi 21, Tratter 11, Arana 10, Racal 9, Stockton 8, Teng 8, Murell 6,  Balanza 2, Guinto 0, Tolomia 0.

Quarters: 35-32; 64-65; 93-94, 128-122.

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