WITH three leg wins under its belt, TNT clinched the top seeding coming into the PBA 3×3 Season 2 First Conference Grand Finals on Sunday at Robinsons Novaliches.
The Tropang Giga, rulers of the first, fifth and sixth stops, amassed a league-best 510 tour points after the six-leg hostilities to lead the 10 qualifiers to the conference championship.
TNT, as well as No. 2 Meralco (420), No. 3 J&T Express (400) and No. 4 Cavitex (365) earned outright tickets to the quarterfinal stage with their high positions.
The Braves secured their place in the “Magic 4” after landing a podium finish even as their closest rival for the coveted slot, San Miguel Beer, placed fifth and finished 51 points short of Cavitex’s final tally.
The No. 5 Beermen (314) along with No. 6 Platinum Karaoke (295), No. 7 Pioneer Elasto Seal (260), No. 8 Blackwater (191), No. 9 Barangay Ginebra (172) and No. 10 NorthPort (150) will play in a pool phase to dispute the four remaining tickets to the Last-8.
Purefoods (113) and Terrafirma (98) were eliminated after placing 11th and 12th, respectively, in the team standings. The Titans and the Dyip’s doom was sealed when they finished in the bottom two of Leg 6 while the Gin Kings and the Batang Pier boosted their bids by placing higher at sixth and ninth, respectively.
The Tropang Giga and the Katibays are in a race for the honors of becoming the first team to capture two conference diadems in the two-year-old league.
TNT ruled the season-ending Third Conference while the Katibays reigned in the mid-season Second Conference. The other conference champion of the inaugural season, Limitless App, is currently on a leave of absence. — Olmin Leyba