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    Jolas sticking to winning formula as small ball gives Ginebra problems

    TNT has had success with a small lineup that had Oftana at the 4 spot
    Apr 13, 2023
    tim cone ginebra vs tnt
    PHOTO: jerome ascano

    TNT is prepared to play with a small line-up for the rest of the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals especially after having its success in Game Two with a depleted frontline.

    The Tropang GIGA evened the best-of-seven championship series against Barangay Ginebra at 1-1 on Wednesday after their 95-82 victory even in the absence of their bigs Kelly Williams and Justin Chua.

    Even Ginebra coach Tim Cone recognized a small TNT line-up that had Calvin Oftana at power forward posed problems for them even in Game One, and Lastimosa hopes that his team would be able to take advantage moving forward.

    READ: Kelly Williams cleared to play in Game 3

    “We are ready to play with our small line-up with Calvin at the 4 and Glenn (Khobuntin) at the 3,” said Lastimosa. “I think Tim (Cone) said that that is the line-up that he has problems with because he will have to extend C-Stan to guard our power forward, and Calvin is a shooter. That takes them away from what they do best.”


    While the spotlight fell on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Mikey Williams, and Roger Pogoy on offense, Oftana has been TNT's steadiest player. Over the past two games, the former San Beda star has averaged 15 points and 9.5 rebounds thanks to a 14-point, 13-rebound effort in Game Two.


      Oftana has also made two threes in each of the two games - his range creating space for his teammates.

      But while the small line-up has paid off, Lastimosa said having another big guy would definitely help TNT’s chances going forward in the finals.

      Lastimosa said he was glad that Poy Erram was able to step up on Wednesday after fouling out in Game One. Erram had four points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes of play.

      calvin oftana ginebra vs tnt

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      “It helps us (small line-up) but with the times that Poy was there in the middle, we didn’t leave Rondae by himself to man the middle. He (Hollis-Jefferson) is 6-6 that has a 7-feet wingspan. Another 6-6, 6-7 guy can help us and Poy helped us a lot in our defense,” said Lastimosa.

      “Let’s see how it goes. But I still have a big line-up,” said Lastimosa.

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      PHOTO: jerome ascano
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