TNT KaTropa stayed unbeaten after surviving the tough challenge of NorthPort, 103-100, to keep the solo lead of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Troy Rosario came through with clutch baskets for the KaTropa, who trailed entering the final quarter, 65-70.
Rosario unloaded 17 of his 22 points in the final quarter including a huge three-pointer at the corner that gave TNT KaTropa a 101-100 edge with 1:07 remaining in the game.
After both teams exchanged misses, Kevin Ferrer had the chance to reclaim the lead for Batang Pier but missed a point-blank jumper.
NorthPort import Mychal Ammons grabbed the offensive board but Ryan Reyes made a big steal that led to two free throws from Rosario, 103-100, 2.1 seconds left.
Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio sued for a timeout and let Sean Anthony hoist the potential game-tying triple but his attempt missed the target and Northport absorbed its fourth straight loss for a 1-4 record.
“Another tough game for us. We showed little improvement on defense especially in the latter part of the game. We just have to continue working hard especially on defense,” said KaTropa head coach Bong Ravena, who drew 30 points, 18 rebounds and five assists from import KJ McDaniels.
“We’ll play tougher teams and we have to move on and prepare for the next game. At the end of the day, we’ll still go to our defense. We just have to be ready,” he added.
RR Pogoy added 17 points while Jayson Castro and Don Trollano each had 10 markers apiece for TNT KaTropa.
Chico Lanete tallied a team-high 23 points highlighted by four triples while Ammons was held down to just 14 markers on 6-of-12 shooting from the field.
Robert Bolick played outstanding defense on Castro and contributed 12 points, six rebounds and four assists for the team of Jarencio.