ANTIPOLO – Troy Rosario felt he was still celebrating his birthday on Sunday when he found his mark from long range to lead TNT KaTropa to a 99-81 win over Meralco in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup.
The third-year stretch forward, who turned 26 on Saturday, buried six three-pointers – four in the first quarter, alone, as he finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 boards along with one assist in 34 minutes as a starter.
“Parang na-extend yung birthday ko eh,” Rosario said with a smile. “Syempre coming off a win last week talagang gusto namin magkaroon ng mga panalo habang maaga kasi parating na yung mga malalakas na kalaban namin eh.”
“Tsaka talagang kailangan namin para sa playoffs, at least may leverage kami kasi ang target namin Top Four eh, para may advantage, twice to beat,” he added.
Rosario underlined the Texters’ accurate shooting as they made a league season-high 18 treys out of 44 attempts for a solid 40.9 percent as a unit after coming into the game as the second-worst three-point shooting team in the tournament, knocking down just 25.8 percent of their shots from beyond the arc.
“Nasabi sa’min ng mga coaches namin yun, na yun nga, yung mga tinitira naming three points mga hindi naman dapat yung mga tinitira namin so naging responsible lang kami sa mga tira namin,” Rosario said.
“Talagang nag shooting,” the Gilas Pilipinas forward added. “May mga toka-toka kaming magshu-shooting so before and after talagang nagshu-shooting kami. Andun na yung kasama namin yung mga coaches.”
TNT coach Nash Racela is hoping to see Rosario stay consistent.
“It won't be his birthday every day,” Racela said. “It's nice that he shot well while celebrating his birthday, but he also needs to shoot well during other days.”
“(But) I think it's just a product of Troy's hard work, because, he takes a lot of shots before practice, and then even after practice, naiiwan talaga siya to take more shots,” he was quick to add. “So yeah, not really surprised with the way he shot today. Again, we just have to look for consistency.”