SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – TNT subdued NorthPort by 25, 112-87, to become the first team to enter the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Tuesday at the SMART 5G-powered AUF Sports and Cultural Center.
The Tropang Giga closed the first quarter with 11 straight points for a 30-13 lead to break the game wide open, and they would never face any resistance from the undermanned Batang Pier from then on.
One of the favorites to win it all in this conference, the MVP Group’s crown jewel would enjoy a lead as high as 36 points, 86-50, following a lay-up by Roger Pogoy with 1:25 remaining in the third chapter.
“We really prepared hard for this. Especially with a long break and coming from a loss, we have to be ready. Just happy we caught NorthPort on a bad day. Swerte lang kami today,” said head coach Bong Ravena.
Ray Parks top-scored for TNT with 22 points spiked by six three-pointers, alongside 10 rebounds. Pogoy finished with 15 points, while Troy Rosario had a double-double of his own with 14 and 10.
Jay Washington and Almond Vosotros each had 11 points as the Tropa bounced back from their loss to NLEX last week that snapped their unbeaten run to five. They’re now back on top of the standings with a 6-1 card.
“It was just a great response coming off that tough loss. Way to pick up the pieces. And it’s just a testament to the character of this team. We’re slowly growing,” Parks said in the walk-off interview.
Kelly Nabong made 17 points as Christian Standhardinger finished with 15 points and 12 dimes as NorthPort absorbed its fifth loss in six games in the bubble, falling second to the last in the standings.
The Batang Pier, already playing without Jonathan Grey as they continue to wait for the doctor’s clearance, missed the services anew of Sean Anthony as the veteran forward is still out no thanks to a grade 1 hamstring injury.
TNT and NorthPort will go back into action tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 4. The Tropang Giga, now aiming for the Top 4, will play fellow favorite Magnolia at 4:00 p.m. while the Batang Pier will take on Barangay Ginebra at 6:45 p.m.
TNT (112) – Parks 22, Pogoy 15, Rosario 14, Washington 11, Vosotros 11, Reyes 9, Erram 8, De Leon 7, Castro 7, Flores 4, Semerad 2, Montalbo 2, Enciso 0, Carey 0, Alejandro 0.
NorthPort (87) – Nabong 17, Standhardinger 15, Cruz 14, Taha 8, Subido 8, Lanete 8, Manganti 6, Elorde 4, Guinto 3, Revilla 2, Ferrer 2, Anthony 0, Grey 0.
Quarterscores: 30-13, 54-30, 90-55, 112-87.