A month-long break seemed to be beneficial for the TNT KaTropa as they downed the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 100-92, to snap the latter’s five-game win streak in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, Sunday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
TNT coughed up a 17-point lead with 5:13 to go in the fourth as RoS made a 17-4 run to knock within four, 91-95, with 32.6 seconds left, but Jayson Castro’s freebies and Brian Heruela’s lay-up shut the door close for the opposition.
“We’ve been practicing hard nung break namin. We’ve also figured in some tuneup games. And as much as possible we really wanted our team to focus on defense consistently,” said KaTropa head coach Bong Ravena.
It was the Gilas Pilipinas duo of Castro and forward Troy Rosario that set the pace for TNT as they scored 20 points apiece, with the former flirting with a triple-double as he finished with 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Former Elasto Painter Jericho Cruz supplied 15 points in the win. Veteran guard Ryan Reyes chimed in 10 markers and four assists, but made his presence felt more on the defensive end as he collected four blocks and three steals.
The win served as a fitting welcome for Jay Washington, who has returned to the Talk N Text franchise for the third time in his career as he got waived by Rain or Shine during the break. He finished with six points and seven rebounds.
TNT managed to collect their second straight win — which improved their card to 4-3 — even without Roger Pogoy, who sat out due to sickness.
James Yap paced the Elasto Painters with 18 points, which included the eyrp step lay-up that capped off his side’s 17-4 rally. Maverick Ahanmisi supplied 14 points, while third-year guard Ed Daquiaog produced 11 markers.
Rookie Jjay Alejandro, who powered the Elasto Painters’ late-game rally by scoring eight in it, finished with 11 points — his first output in the pros.
Rain or Shine, who has now gone down to 7-2 and has given up the top spot of the team standings to the 7+1 Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, played without center Raymond Almazan as he is still nursing an ankle injury.
TNT will next face Blackwater Elite on Saturday, March 9, still at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, while Rain or Shine will battle the Columbian Dyip next on Wednesday, March 6, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
TNT 100 – Castro 20, Rosario 20, Cruz 15, Reyes 10, Trollano 7, Washigton 6, Taha 6, Heruela 6, Williams 5, Semerad 3, Carey 2.
Rain or Shine 92 – Yap 18, Ahanmisi 14, Daquioag 11, Alejandro 11, Mocon 10, Ponferada 7, Rosales 6, Belga 6, Torres 3, Borboran 2, Maiquez 2, Nambatac 2, Norwood 0, Onwubere 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20, 56-39, 75-65, 100-92.