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TNT completes 3×3 grand slam

TNT Tropang Giga sealed its date with history as it became the first team to complete a grand slam in the annals of Philippine Basketball Association 3×3.

Lervin Flores stood tall to lead the Tropang Giga’s charge in a 21-18 victory over hard-fighting San Miguel Beer in the finals of the Third Conference Sunday as Season 2 formally came to an end at Robinsons Place in Las Piñas City.

The veteran big man finished with 11 points, grabbed five rebounds, and shot 7-of-9 from the field as he stole the limelight away from the ever reliable Almond Vosotros for a change.

Vosotros, the league’s undisputed scoring king, had a quiet seven points, while Ping Exciminiano and Samboy De Leon rounded out the scoring and helped the telecommunication franchise achieve the special feat in the young history of the two-year-old standalone league.

The victory was worth P750,000 for coach Mau Belen and her team, which won its fourth straight conference title dating back to the Third Conference of Season 1.

The Beermen were beaten but unbowed, giving the top seeded team all they could handle before falling short in the endgame. They brought home the runner-up purse of P250,000.

Earlier, Barangay Ginebra took third place and the P100,000 prize money behind a 21-18 win over J&T.

It was the second third place finish for the Kings in a season grand finale following the same place they achieved during the second conference of Season 1.

The Beermen climbed their way to the pool ladder as the No. 8 seeded team, initially gaining a seat in the knockout stage by finishing second behind J&T in Pool B during the early morning games.

In the quarterfinals, Ken Bono powered his way with nine points to lead San Miguel to a 21-19 upset of no. 2 Cavitex, before Tonino Gonzaga and Wendell Comboy took over in the semis as they combined for 17 points in a 20-18 victory over the Express.

TNT sneaked its way to the finals by disposing of 10th seed Purefoods, 21-15, in the quarterfinals, and turned back the stiff challenge of No. 4 team Barangay Ginebra, 21-16, to clinch the first finals berth.

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