TNT repelled the Meralco Bolts’ late-game rally before bagging the 103-94 win to take Game One of their 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series, Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The KaTropa saw their 22-point lead become just eight, 97-89, with 1:37 to go, but KJ McDaniels and Roger Pogoy came through to widen their lead to 101-89 with 1:05 left to put the game away.
“I’m glad we won the first game, which is very important. But we can’t celebrate yet,” said coach Bong Ravena.
McDaniels led all scorers with 38 points, along with 14 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and a steal.
Pogoy played like he isn’t nursing a back injury — which he sustained in the quarterfinals versus erstwhile-defending champions Magnolia Hotshots — producing 17 points built on four three-pointers.
Jayson Castro flirted with a triple-double as he finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists with four steals. Meanwhile, Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. and Troy Rosario added 11 markers apiece in the win.
“Next game, hopefully, same mindset, you know. Magiging consistent lang kami,” Ravena said.
Former Best Import Allen Durham carried the load for Meralco with 32 points and 21 rebounds in the loss. The only other Bolt to finish in double figures was Chris Newsome, with 14.
“We have to find ways how to stop Durham. ‘Yun problema namin. So, gawan namin ng paraan,” Ravena said.
TNT will look to go up 2-0 in Game Two on Tuesday, December 17, 7:00 p.m. still at the Big Dome.
TNT 103 – McDaniels 38, Pogoy 18, Castro 17, Parks 11, Rosario 11, Digregorio 8, De Leon 0, Reyes 0, Williams 0, Vosotros 0, Taha 0.
Meralco 94 – Durham 32, Maliksi 15, Newsome 14, Caram 9, Amer 9, Hodge 5, Quinto 3, Jackson 3, Almazan 2, Faundo 2, Pinto 0.
Quarterscores: 22-25, 47-41, 77-61, 103-94.