TNT KaTropa routed Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX), 101-75, to keep its chance of securing a playoff spot in the quarterfinals alive in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The KaTropa relied strongly on the scoring prowess of Gilas standouts Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy and newcomer Jericho Cruz to establish a commanding 58-28 halftime lead. TNT was never threatened from then on to finisht the elimination round with a 5-6 win-loss record.
“We have been struggling offensively this conference. I think the two-week break really helped us. We really focused on our game. So at least offensively today, we look a lot better than our previous games,” said TNT coach Nash Racela.
Despite the win, TNT is not yet assured of a playoff berth.
“We knew going into this game that we needed a win. And the only thing that we need to think of is to win this game. Hopefully, we’re still in,” added Racela, referring to the quarterfinal stage.
Kelly Williams led TNT with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Cruz contributed 17 points, Rosario 14, Pogoy 13 plus another 10 from Castro for the KaTropa.
JR Quinahan scored 20 points to lead the Road Warriors, whose win-loss record fell to 6-5. NLEX though is already assured of a slot in the quarterfinals.
TALK N’ TEXT 101 – Cruz 17, Williams 17, Rosario 14, Pogoy 13, Castro 10, Tamsi 7, Garcia 6, Paredes 5, Semerad 3, Reyes 3, Tautuaa 2, Carey 2, Torres 2, Golla 0, Nuyles 0.
NLEX 75 – Quiñahan 20, Alas 14, Al-Hussaini 10, Mallari 5, Monfort 5, Miranda 5, Soyud 4, Tiongson 3, Ighalo 3, Fonacier 3, Taulava 2, Ravena 1, Baguio 0, Uyloan 0.
Quarter Scores: 27-16, 58-28, 80-50, 101-75.