Jalen Hudson turned in one of the finest performances of the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup to date as TNT dealt Converge its first loss of the conference through a 128-122 decision, Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The 26-year-old went off for 56 points on a 67-percent clip from the field, along with 12 rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block to lead the Tropang Giga in overcoming a tight affair that saw them trail by as much as nine in the third.
“I just tried to be aggressive. That’s pretty much it,” said Hudson, who was shooting 40.2-percent prior. “My teammates gave me confidence and going into it, I know it was a big game for us and for them as well.”
But it wasn’t all Hudson in the win that hiked their card to 4-1 as the locals helped out as well, namely Mikey Williams, Roger Pogoy, and Paul Varilla.
Williams finished with 19 points, including 11 in the fourth, and five rebounds. Pogoy fired 18 points on two triples, while Varilla came through with 12 points and four boards off the bench. Jayson Castro added 10 markers.
Williams and Varilla kept the Tropa ahead early in the final period before Pogoy joined hands with Hudson for an 11-1 run for the 120-108 lead with 2:30 left.
“I just thought that the guys fought hard. It may not be indicated in the score, but every point that we got, we earned it,” said coach Jojo Lastimosa.
TNT will next face Terrafirma on Saturday, 4:30 p.m., at the Mall of Asia Arena, looking of course for its fifth win in six games.
Jamaal Franklin, on the other hand, finished with 47 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists to lead Converge in the defeat (4-1).
Maverick Ahanmisi had 21 points and eight rebounds, Abu Tratter made 11, and Justin Arana added 10 markers for the FiberXers.
Converge will face another big test ahead as it battles San Miguel Beer also on Saturday, serving as the nightcap of a doubleheader at 6:45 p.m.
TNT 128 – Hudson 56, M.Williams 19, Pogoy 18, Varilla 12, Castro 10, Oftana 5, Chua 3, Khobuntin 3, K.Williams 2, Marcelo 0.
Converge 122 – Franklin 47, Ahanmisi 21, Tratter 11, Arana 10, Racal 9, Stockton 8, Teng 8, Murrell 6, Balanza 2, Guinto 0, Tolomia 0.
Quarterscores: 35-32, 64-65, 93-94, 128-122
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.