HAT-TRICK-seeking TNT and Meralco shut out their respective pool opponents en route to quick quarterfinal slots in Leg 3 of the PBA 3x3 Season Second Conference Monday at the Ayala Malls Fairview Terraces.
The Triple Giga kicked off their bid for the league's first "three-peat" in a single conference with a 20-17 verdict over Cavitex then followed it up with a 21-19 dispatching of MCFASolver to top Pool A.
Gryann Mendoza and Ping Exciminiano shot seven apiece as TNT rallied from five points down past Cavitex in the morning sessions. Hours later, Mendoza fired nine and Almond Vosotros delivered six, including the go-ahead two-pointer, as they hurdled the tough challenge of the Tech Centrale.
The Braves (1-1), meanwhile, leaned on their 21-18 victory over MCFASolver (0-2) to join TNT in Tuesday's quarterfinal round as Pool A No. 2.
Bringing out the broom in Pool B were the Bolts, who eked out close victories over NorthPort, 19-18, and Leg 2 runnerup Terrafirma, 19-17, before routing San Miguel Beer, 21-9, for top spot.
Over in Pool C, Purefoods (2-0), Pioneer (2-1) and Blackwater (1-1) put a lock on the three seats to the KO rounds and left winless Ginebra (0-3) out of it.
The Titans beat the Gin Kings, 21-18, and the Katibays, 21-20, in their first two assignments. Prior to that loss, Pioneer won over Ginebra, 16-12, and Blackwater, 18-17.
Blackwater, banking on Hubert Cani's 13-point eruption and Wendell Comboy's winning deuce, scored a 21-20 thriller over the Gin Kings that ensured its advance with a game to spare in pool play.
The last two games of the elims open Day 2 action at 10:30 a.m Tuesday featuring SMB (0-2) against Terrafirma (1-1) in Pool B and Blackwater versus Purefoods in Pool C. Post-elims play immediately follows all the way to the battle for the leg championship and P100,000 winner's prize. (OL)