TNT KaTropa escape Alaska via slim win

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Rookie Roger Pogoy and Jayson Castro led TNT KaTropa to a thrilling 107-106 come-from-behind victory over Alaska on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Pogoy and Castro joined forces in crunch time to help the KaTropa overcome a 13-point deficit (82-95) in the last five-minute mark to bounce back from their loss to San Miguel Beer last Wednesday. TNT improved its win-loss record to 2-1.

Michael Craig of TNT attempts to sneak in a shot past Calvin Abueva of Alaska on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governors Cup at the Araneta Coliseum. PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

“We knew all along that Alaska is becoming a more dangerous team so we have followed them this conference, the effort is there. It’s just a matter of time before they win but I don’t want it to happen today,” said TNT coach Nash Racela.

“Good the players stepped up. We wanted to preserve Roger (Pogoy) and Jayson (Castro) but they had to play the whole second half,” he added.


Pogoy notched 16 of his second best personal output of 25 points in the payoff period and registered 7-of-8 shooting from the three-point zone. Castro finished with 23 points plus 10 assists and nine rebounds.

TNT survived the crucial stretch despite the absence of import Michael Craig who fouled out with still a little over five minutes left in the game. Craig though still led the KaTropa with 28 points, 19 rebounds and four assists.

Troy Rosario added 15 points and eight rebounds also for TNT.

Pogoy led TNT’s 20-6 run in the last five-minute mark by sinking three three-pointers resulting in their first taste of the lead, 102-101, with only 1:38 left.

Import LaDontae Henton, who posted a game-high 42 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks, hit a jumper to reclaim the lead for Alaska, 103-102, with 1:32 remaining but Ranidel De Ocampo’s jumper and Castro’s three-pointer allowed TNT to pull away 107-103.

The Aces couldn’t retaliate in the next play en route to absorbing their 12th straight defeat dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup. Alaska stayed winless in four outings this conference.

Scores:
TNT 107 – Craig 28, Pogoy 25, Castro 23, Rosario 15, De Ocampo 7, Williams 4, Garcia 3, Tautuaa 2, Carey 0, Hernandez 0, Semerad 0.

ALASKA 106 – Henton 42, Abueva 19, Manuel 13, Banchero 12, Casio 6, Baclao 4, Enciso 4, Magat 2, Hontiveros 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0.

Quarter Scores: 17-20, 38-47, 71-80, 107-106.

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