League leader TNT KaTropa got tested before narrowly escaping with a 103-100 victory over the NorthPort Batang Pier. TNT preserved its unblemished record with its fifth straight game in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City tonight.
With the game on the line in the final two minutes, Troy Rosario knocked down a go-ahead triple from the right corner to give the Tropang Texters the lead, 101-100, with 1:06 remaining.
NorthPort had several chances to snatch back the lead but Kevin Ferrer and Mychal Ammons missed consecutive cracks at the basket with around seconds remaining.
After getting fouled, Rosario then sank two freebies to make it 103-100 for TNT.
Still with a chance, the Batang Pier went to Sean Anthony in a bid to force overtime but his triple from the left elbow went astray, enabling TNT to stay immaculate.
Brilliant all game, Rosario finished with 22 points while KJ McDaniels was equally as impressive for TNT, taking game-high honors with 30 points, 18 rebounds and five assists for a double-double.
“We still have to keep working hard, keep improving,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena.” We escaped, it wasn’t perfect and we now move on.”
TNT stayed at the top with its improved 5-0 slate while moving closer to clinching a berth in the quarterfinals.
On the other hand, the woes of the Batang Pier continued as it lost its fourth in a row, dipping to 1-4 near the bottom of the pack.
It was NorthPort who actually had the lead, 82-73, with under nine minutes left in the game but TNT stormed back and made it anyone’s game in the final two minutes of play.
Ammons led NorthPort with a double-double of 14 points and 13 boards.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer guard Terrence Romeo of San Miguel was fined P20,000 for head-butting NLEX Road Warriors guard Philip Paniamogan during their PBA Governors Cup match last Friday in Dubai.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said officials of the league levied the fine in Dubai after careful deliberation and after a talk with Romeo himself at the end of their match against the Road Warriors.
Luckily for San Miguel, the mercurial guard was spared from a suspension.
TNT KaTropa 103 – KJ McDaniels 30, Troy Rosario 22, RR Pogoy 17, Jason Castro 10, Don Trollano 10, Ryan Reyes 6, Harvey Carey 2, Samboy De Leon 2, Marion Magat 2, Brian Heruela 2, Almond Vosotros 0.
Northport Batang Pier 100 – Garvo Lanete 23, Mychal Ammons 14, Robert Bolick 12, Kevin Ferrer 11, Paolo Taha 10, Sean Anthony 8, Sol Mercado 6, Jervy Cruz 4, Moala Tautuaa 4, Russell Escoto 3, Jerramy King 3, Nico Elorde 2.
Quarter scores: 24-18, 46-38, 65-70, 103-100.