TNT KaTropa avoided the upset axe again as it held off Mahindra, 86-84, to sustain its momentum in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Coming off a hard-earned win against NLEX where they first had to climb out of a 29-point hole before scoring the win in overtime, the Texters led most of the way against the Floodbuster then withstood their opponents’ late stand to pull off the win.
Donte Greene proved he can shoulder more of the offensive load when it really mattered as he registered 24 points, including 11 in the payoff period, on top of 14 boards as the Texters stretched their winning streak to four games after starting the conference on the wrong foot.
The Texters also handed the Floodbuster their fifth loss in six games.
“At least it wasn’t a come-from-behind win this time,” TNT coach Nash Racela said after the game. “I told them at the half that this was the time to build, develop your habits. Today we were able to do that, although there were a lot of mistakes pa rin.”
“But it’s good we’re getting wins despite playing that way,” he added.
Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro were the other TNT players who scored in double figures, while Mo Tautuaa and Kris Rosales added nine and eight points, respectively.
The Texters led, 83-78, when LA Revilla hit a floater and Alex Mallari split his charities to pull the Floodubster to within two points within the last two minutes, but Roger Pogoy came back with also one free throw and another two from Greene to seal the deal.
Keith Wright retaliated a three-pointer that proved too late. The Mahindra import still finished with a game-high 26 points along with 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals, but found little contribution aside from the 37 points Revilla and Mallari combined to score.
TNT 86 – Greene 24, Rosario 11, Castro 10, Tautuaa 9, Rosales 8, Pogoy 6, Fonacier 5, De Ocampo 5, Williams 4, Reyes 3, Carey 1, Tamsi 0.
Mahindra 84 – Wright 26, Revilla 20, Mallari 17, Elorde 6, Salva 5, Paniamogan 4, Deutchman 3, Caperal 2, Yee 1, Ballesteros 0, Corpuz 0, Celda 0, Guevarra 0, Galanza 0.
Quarterscores: 18-17; 47-38; 65-62; 86-84.