TNT KaTropa showed up with an all-Filipino line-up but was still too good as it beat Blackwater, 120-101, on Friday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Texters played without an import after sending home Jeremy Tyler but it hardly mattered as they trounced the winless Elite to improve their record to 4-1 and gain a share of the lead with Rain or Shine.
Ryan Reyes had 18 points, while Troy Rosario stepped up for TNT KaTropa in the absence of Tyler, posting double-double numbers of 17 points and 11 rebounds. The KaTropa actually had a balanced attack with seven players scoring in double figures.
”It was nice that the locals were really up to the challenge,” said TNT coach Nash Racela, who added team governor Ricky Vargas gave a motivational speech before the game at the dugout.
“Sabi niya, even if they have a 6-10 import, all of you are imports. Everyone was ready to contribute,” said Racela.
Poy Erram had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Paul Zamar added 15 for the Elite, who lost its sixth straight game. Import Jarrid Famous had 11 points and 12 rebounds against the KaTropa.
TNT only trailed in the early goings and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way, leading by as many as 20 points in the game.
TNT 120 - Reyes 18, Rosario 17, Pogoy 15, Semerad 14, Castro 14, Romeo 12, Cruz 11, Trollano 7, Taha 5, Carey 4, Nuyles 2, Garcia 1, Gola 0, Paredes 0, Saitanan 0.
Blackwater 101 - Erram 16, Zamar 15, DiGregorio 14, Palma 12, Belo 11, Famous 11, Cortez 9, Maliksi 6, Sumang 5, Pinto 2, Jose 0, Sena 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20; 52-47; 87-72; 120-101.