TNT's Roger Pogoy puts up a floater against Blackwater defenders in Friday night's PBA Commissioner's Cup action at the Big Dome.PBA Media Bureau
MANILA, Philippines — No import? No problem.
TNT extended Blackwater’s miseries in the mid-season joust after carving out a 120-101 decision in Friday night’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup action at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
KaTropa let the Elite enjoy a slim lead for a little over two minutes after the opening tip. But as soon as Roger Pogoy started knocking down shots, his followed suit.
TNT drew double-digit production from seven cagers—including Pogoy—to make up for the void left by Jeremy Tyler who the KaTropa brass axed a day before the game.
“It’s nice that the locals were really up for the challenge. [Team governor] Ricky Vargas gave us a really good motivation before the game. Sabi niya, ‘even if they have a 6’10 import, and with us, we’re without a 6’10 import, all of you are imports,’” shared TNT head coach Nash Racela.
“At least today, everybody was ready to contribute. It really helped us today,” he added.
Ryan Reyes led the scoring with 18 while Troy Rosario chimed in 17. Terrence Romeo, who left the game in the second period after hurting his foot in a clash with Elite’s Renz Palma, added 12 more in the effort.
Blackwater had no answer to the KaTropa’s collective work from the offensive end JP Erram and Paul Zamar only had 16 and 15 markers respectively to lead the team.
The Elite’s Jarrid Famous was unable to capitalize an import-less TNT interior as he was clamped down to just 11 points.
The victory propelled TNT alongside the conference-leading Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. They both tout a 4-1 card.
“That’s always nice to get a headstart … But I don’t know if we can rest during the All-Star break because a lot of our players are included in the festivities,” Racela said. “Siguro, what’s nice about it is magkakaroon sila ng break sa isa’t isa.“
“But we all know, it’s always how you sustain and how you finish,” he closed.
Blackwater’s playoffs future just turned bleaker after slipping into 0-6 in the Commissioner’s Cup.
KaTropa’s next assignment is Columbian Dyip who they face on June 1. The Elite, on the other hand, tackles an equally struggling NLEX Road Warriors next Wednesday.
TNT (120): Reyes 18, Rosario 17, Pogoy 15, Castro 14, Semerad 14, Romeo 12, Cruz 11, Trollano 7, Taha 5, Carey 4, Nuyles 2, Garcia 1, Paredes 0, Saitanan 0, Golla 0
Blackwater (101): Erram 16, Zamar 15, Digregorio 14, Palma 12, Famous 11, Belo 11, Cortez 9, Maliksi 6, Sumang 5, Pinto 2, Jose 0, Sena 0
Quarter scores: 25-20, 52-47, 87-72, 120-101