Balanced TNT effort trumps Romeo-Pringle Globalport show as Texters close in on semis
Matt Ganuelas-Rosser posterizes Yutien Andrada as part of the balance attack by TnT Katropa. Jaime Campos

TNT KaTropa’s balanced effort trumped GlobalPort’s two-man game as it rolled to a 109-101 victory on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena to gain the upper hand in their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal series.

Jayson Castro continued to thrive in a reserve role, tallying 20 points, four boards, one assist, and one steal in 24 minutes, while getting plenty of help from Larry Fonacier and Mo Tautuaa, among others as they took Game One of the best-of-three series.

Terrence Romeo pumped in 28 points, eight assists and five boards in 40 minutes, while Stan Pringle added 19 markers, but the duo got little contribution from the rest of the Batang Pier.

“Our focus was to limit the production of Terrence and Stanley, but they still got their averages today,” TNT coach Nash Racela said. “The players did their best to contain them, but Terrence was just hitting tough shots.”

The Texters can wrap it up and advance to the semifinals with a win in Game Two on Monday at the Big Dome.

Mick Pennisi failed to sustain a strong first half where he turned back the clock and scored 14 points built around four triples for GlobalPort.

The Texters erased an early 12-point deficit as they buckled down to work in the middle quarters to take command and build a lead as many as 18 points late in the third quarter.

Like Castro, Fonacier came through off the bench with 17 points and three boards in 35 minutes, while Tautuaa sustained his solid play as of late, also tallying 17 markers and missed a double-double by one rebound in just 22 minutes of play.

Romeo tried to claw the Batang Pier back by nearly his lonesome as he fired 15 of his output in the fourth quarter where they outscored the Texters, 30-23, to no avail.


The scores:

TNT 109 – Castro 20, Tautuaa 17, Fonacier 17, Rosario 11, Rosser 10, Rosales 8, Pogoy 6, Reyes 6, Williams 6, de Ocampo 4, Carey 2, Seigle 2, Sumalinog 0, Tamsi 0

GLOBALPORT 101 – Romeo 28, Pringle 19, Pennisi 14, Cortez 8, Canaleta 7, Pessumal 5, Maierhofer 3, Mamaril 2, Semerad 2, Andrada 0, Urbiztondo 0, Paredes 0

Quarterscores: 24-34, 61-56, 86-71, 109-101

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos