TNT KaTropa extended its 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup winning streak to four games with a wire-to-wire, 92-78, demolition of the Alaska Aces yesterday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Leading from the start TNT relied on an explosion early in the fourth to put away the game.
TNT guard Brian Heruela stole the ball then converted the fastbreak layup. This was followed by two free throws by Yousef Taha which hiked the TNT lead to 20 points, 85-65, with 5:49 to go in the game which virtually settled the outcome.
With the victory TNT (5 wins, 3 losses) climbed all the way to fourth place behind the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters (8-2), the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (7-3) and the San Miguel Beermen (6-3).
The other teams include Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (4-3), the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok (3-4), the Columbian Dyip (4-6) and the Aces (3 wins, 5 losses).
Bringing up the rear are the North Port Batang Pier (2-4), the NLEX Road Warriors (3-5), the Meralco Bolts (3-5) and the Blackwater Elite (2-7).
Alaska’s Carl Bryan Cruz drilled three-triples in the second quarter to cut the TNT lead. Teammate Jesper Ayaay drove in, missed the attempt but followed up his own miss to cut the TNT advantage to just four points, 38-42, with 3:21 to go in the first half.
TNT then held the Aces scoreless the rest of the way while Troy Rosario drained a jumper to cap a 5-0 TNT run which hiked the Alaska deficit to nine, 38-47 at halftime.
Alaska big man Sonny Thoss was aggressive as he drove in to convert a pair of baskets and added a free throw to cut the Talk N Text lead to just six points, 43-49.
TNT’s Rosario drilled a three-pointer to ignite a 9-2 KaTropa run as TNT hiked its lead to 13 big points, 58-45 early in the third.
Simon Enciso drained a pair of triples to ignite a 9-2 Alaska run which cut the TNT lead to just six points, 60-54, with 5:32 to go in the third.
TNT eventually held on to 12-point 72-64 advantage after three quarters.
The scores:TNT KaTropa 92—RR Pogoy 24, Troy Rosario 15, Brian Heruela 8, Jayson Castro 8, Anthony Semerad 8, Jericho Cruz 6, Don Trollano 4, Jay Washington 2, Kelly Williams 1, Michael Miranda 0, JR Casino 0, Ken Bono 0.
Alaska Aces 78—Carl Bryan Cruz 19, Sonny Thoss 13, Simon Enciso 12, Chris Banchero 12, Jeron Teng 9, Jesper Ayaay 6, Jake Pascual 5, Ping Exciminiano 2, Noy Baclao 0, Abel Galliguez 0, Davon Potts 0.
Quarter scores: 23-15, 47-38, 74-62, 92-78.
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