TNT continued its hot streak as it scraped past NorthPort, 103-100, in the PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome. Troy Rosario poured in 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and hit the biggest baskets in the homestretch, including a stepback three that gave TNT the lead for good, and canned the last two free throws that sealed the victory.
The KaTropa strengthened their hold on the top spot with a spotless 5-0 record while adding to the misery of the Batang Pier, who slid to their fourth straight loss and 1-4 in the standings.
Import KJ McDaniels finished with 30 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, and three steals while RR Pogoy had 17 markers.
"Another tough win for us," said TNT head coach Bong Ravena.
Although they are on a roll, Ravena stressed the need to still improve the team's defense going forward in the season-ending conference.
"We really have to make stops. We have no problem on our offense. They were able to catch up because we're not making stops," he said.
NorthPort had a couple of chances to turn things around.
Kevin Ferrer, whose three-pointer gave the team a 100-98 buffer, broke free for a jumper but missed. Mychal Ammons secured the rebound but Ryan Reyes stripped the ball from him as he went up for the putback.
That led to the two free throws of Rosario. With 1.7 ticks left, Sean Anthony received the ball from the left wing then soared for the three-point attempt that went short.
"We just have to continue working hard especially on defense. Breaks of the game, it was another escape for us. We just have to keep improving," Ravena said.
Garvo Lanete paced NorthPort with 23 points.
TNT (103) - McDaniels 30, Rosario 22, Pogoy 17, Trollano 10, Castro 10, Reyes 6, Heruela 2, Carey 2, De Leon 2, Magat 2, Vosotros 0.
NorthPort (100) - Lanete 23, Ammons 14, Bolick 12, Ferrer 11, Taha 10, Anthony 8, Mercado 6, Tautuaa 4, Cruz 4, King 3, Escoto 3, Elorde 2.
Quarterscores: 24-18, 46-38, 65-70, 103-100
TNT shot only 8-32 from the three-point area for a 25.8% shooting clip.
NorthPort was an impressive 16/17 from the free throw line. Only Sol Mercado missed from the stripe.
TNT vs. Meralco on October 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
NorthPort vs. Phoenix on October 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.