Too much Ray Parks.
TNT built a slight edge, then leaned on a fourth-quarter explosion fueled by Parks to trounce Phoenix Super LPG, 91-81, yesterday, Friday, November 27 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena & Cultural Center Powered by Smart 5G.
The Tropang Giga led by 9 points, 62-53, entering the fourth but detonated a 29-18 bomb to beat Phoenix and advance to the Finals of the 2020 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
Parks finished with another double-double of 26 points (with 15 points coming in the fourth quarter alone) and 10 rebounds to go with 6 assists and 1 steal to win Player of the Game honors.
“We just got to take pride in the moment. Take advantage of the moment. These guys are who I play for (said Parks of his TNT teammates who all stood beside him during the post-game interview). This is my family,” said Parks.
“It’s tough playing against a great team like Phoenix. They are very well-coached. They’re tough as nails. We’re just thankful (for the win). Everybody in the team played their part.”
Phoenix inched closer to the TNT lead late in the fourth but Parks drilled a three-pointer then a pair of field goals to keep the Super LPG at bay. He padded the TNT advantage to 15 points, 82-67, with just 4:03 to go virtually sealing the outcome of the game.]
Phoenix do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva also had a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds to go with 6 assists and 3 blocks.
Parks outmuscled Abueva in a rebound battle inside the paint then followed up a missed shot to push TNT to an imposing 14-point, 70-56, advantage in the fourth.
Roger Pogoy would increase that advantage to 17 points, 75-58, after a three-pointer and a two-point field goal against two free throws by Chua with 7 minutes left to play.
Super LPG veteran guard Alex Mallari converted a layup to cap a 7-0 Phoenix run which cut the TNT advantage to 5 points, 20-25, at the end of the first quarter.
Phoenix big man Justin Chua scored on a layup but TNT veteran Jay Washington countered with a three-pointer to push TNT to a 6-point advantage at halftime, 40-34.
TNT got a surprise scoring lift from veteran big man Jay Washington and sniper Simon Enciso. Washington, a big body relied upon to grab rebounds and set picks and not necessarily points, added 11 markers to his tally. Enciso had 12 points.