Big finish from Mario Little helps TNT Katropa derail NLEX, stay unbeaten in PBA
Jayson Castro is named Best Player of the Game for the fourth straight time. Jaime Campos

TNT Katropa continued in its road to resurgence, holding off NLEX, 101-95, to remain undefeated in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Texters finished the game on a 10-2 run to prevail in another grind-out battle and sustain their strong start in the season-ending tournament after underperforming in the season's two other conferences.

Jayson Castro continued his fine play while import Mario Little made his presence felt down the stretch, along with Troy Rosario and Ryan Reyes to lead the Texters, who grabbed the solo lead after winning their fourth straight game.

Castro was named Best Player of the Game for the fourth straight time.

“We’re just hanging in there,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “We don’t give up. We just keep playing. And as long as we keep playing hard and keeping our poise and discipline on both ends, nakakalusot kami.”

The Texters also handed their sister squad their third straight loss after the Road Warriors started the conference with a win.

Castro poured in an all-around performance of 23 points, eight assists, and seven boards in 35 minutes, while Little added 18 points and missed a double-double by one rebound  in 34 minutes.

In just his second game back from an injury, Rosario registered 20 points, 11 boards, two blocks, and finished a fastbreak off Little that put the Texters up for good at 95-93 with a little over a minute left in the game.

Reyes then converted an NLEX turnover into a fastbreak layup, before Little knocked down a left-corner three-pointer off Castro that punctuated the victory.

Bill Walker led the Road Warriors with 26 points and 13 boards, but missed a triple and committed a turnover in separate plays in the endgame that sparked the TNT run.


The scores:

TNT 101 – Castro 23, Rosario 20, Little 18, Madanly 10, Rosales 8, Williams 7, De Ocampo 6, Reyes R. 5, Seigle 2, Tautuaa 2, Nuyles 0, Carey 0

NLEX 95 – Walker 26, Taulava 14, Anthony 12, Villanueva J. 12, Baracael 10, Khobuntin 9, Akl 7, Arboleda 3, Villanueva E. 2, Lanete 0, Monfort 0, Reyes 0

Quarterscores: 18-21, 44-48, 65-71, 101-95

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos