The TNT KaTropa crawled out of a 29-point deficit to beat the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Road Warriors, 126-121, in overtime on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. It was the biggest comeback win in the franchise’s history.
Playmaker Jayson Castro notched 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field, on top of 11 assists and two steals, while import Donte Greene tallied 26 points and 16 rebounds. TNT improved its win-loss record to 3-1
“It’s a bad habit that we need to fix,” said TNT coach Nash Racela, referring to TNT’s back-to-back come-from-behind wins that started last week when it escaped Blackwater, 92-89. “We played without a mentality to play defense early. I hope we learned our lesson.”
Ranidel De Ocampo finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds; Roger Pogoy had 20 points while Jeth Troy Rosario contributed 16 points also for the KaTropa.
No team has managed to recover from a 29-point deficit in the last 11 years, and the squad that did it last was Purefoods (now Star Hotshots) that slipped past Alaska, 86-84, in overtime during the Fiesta Conference in October 14, 2006.
Import Wayne Chism led NLEX with 35 points and 21 rebounds. NLEX erected a 42-22 lead at the start of second quarter en route to its biggest lead, 89-60, in the third period after Chism’s basket with still 7:12 to go.
But TNT initiated a 30-12 run in the payoff period highlighted by De Ocampo’s game-tying three-pointer that resulted in a 113-all deadlock with 29 ticks left in the regulation.
TNT secured a chance to steal the win after Garvo Lanete’s turnover and Castro’s missed game-winning shot forced the game into overtime.
Pogoy stepped up and scored five of TNT’s 13 points in the extension period allowing his team to steal the win from NLEX.
The Road Warriors that was also defeated by the Star Hotshots 105-107 last week, stayed winless in five games.