By Peter Atencio
Jalen Hudson scored a conference-high 56 points for the TNT Tropang Giga as they turned back the Converge FiberXers, 128-122, Wednesday night in the 2023 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Hudson’s output is considered one of the finest performances in the league, since Shabazz Muhammad knocked in 57 to power San Miguel Beer to a 115-110 win over Meralco in March 5 last year during the 2022 Governors’ Cup eliminations.
“It’s my teammates. They’ve been defending well,” said the 26-year-old Hudson as the Tropang Giga picked up their third win in four outings.
The 6’6” Hudson was at his best in the fourth period, making 12 points, and with Mikey Williams also stepping up with 11 of 19 points.
The FiberXers, who fell to a tie for second with the Tropang Giga, lost the lead after taking a 94-93 edge at the end of the third period.
The Tropang Giga seized the upperhand off Hudson’s dunk and Williams’ triple in the last 11:10, 98-94.
Converge, behind Jamaal Franklin with 47 points, remained close for the last time, 102-103, off Kevin Racal’s driving shot.
But Williams’ steady hands yielded him back-to-back baskets following a turnover, and TNT stayed out of trouble with their 106-102 edge with 7:40 to go.
“We had a difficult time containing their transitions. It was a huge talking point at halftime. Even before the game, that was the game plan. They (Converge) were playing at a fast pace. Good thing we were able to keep in step with them,” said new TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa.