MANILA – TNT began its quest for back-to-back PBA Philippine Cup titles after tripping Magnolia in an opening night rematch of last year's finals, 78-72, on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

TNT pulled away late in the game to repeat its dominance over Magnolia, whom they beat in five games in the 2021 championship series in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Tropang Giga turned on the jets in crunch time and unleashed a 10-3 run within the last 2:26 of the game to upend the Hotshots.

Troy Rosario tallied 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal for TNT, which has yet to agree on a new contract with Mikey Williams, the newly-crowned Rookie of the Year.

Williams is still in the United States at the moment even as teammate Kelly Williams received his Rookie of the Year and Mythical First Team awards on his behalf.

Jayson Castro added 16 points, two rebounds, and six assists.

Ian Sangalang chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Jio Jalalon and Calvin Abueva each added 12 markers with the latter also tallying a double-double with 12 boards for Magnolia. (PNA)