TNT KaTropa locals led by Roger Pogoy finished what their highly regarded import couldn't as the Texters escaped with a 92-89 victory over Blackwater in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
With Donte Greene so-so in his debut, Roger Pogoy led a fourth-quarter comeback from a double-digit deficit, capping his impressive play with the tip-in that gave the Texters the lead for good.
Pogoy scored 11 of his career-high 24 points in the fourth quarter for the Texters, who notched a second straight win while keeping the Elite stuck at the bottom, winless after four starts.
Greene added 22 markers, but had to take 28 attempts to reach his total.
“It’s really hard when you go into a game not knowing to expect,” TNT coach Nash Racela said in the post-game conference when asked about Greene’s debut. “We’ve been like that the first three games – again because of the import situation.”
“Even the locals, nagkakapaan rin sila (kay Donte),” he added.
The Texters have huge expectations on Greene, who replaced fellow NBA veteran Lou Amundson and expressed his interest of becoming Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player in the future.
The 29-year-old Greene, though, hardly lived up to hype right away as he shot a woeful 32.1 percent from the field and missed all but one of his five three-point attempts, although he added 13 boards, two steals, one steal, and one block in 36 minutes.
The 6-foot-9 former Sacramento King hardly made enough impact as it was the Elite who led most of the way behind another former NBA player in Greg Smith, who registered 22 points, 31 boards, three assists, and one steal in 43 minutes. He also got a lift from new recruits KG Canaleta and Mark Cruz.
The Texters, however, turned it up a notch in the fourth where they outscored the Elite, 29-16, even with Jayson Castro riding the bench due to foul trouble as they ended up piling on the frustrations of Blackwater.
TNT 92 – Pogoy 24, Greene 22, Castro 13, Williams 11, De Ocampo 10, Rosario 4, Fonacier 3, Rosales 3, Reyes 2, Carey 0, Golla 0
BLACKWATER 89 – Smith 22, Pascual 12, Buenafe 12, Sumang 9, Cruz 7, Pinto 7, Canaleta 6, Sena 4, Digregorio 4, Cervantes 4, Miranda 2, Gamalinda 0, Perez 0
Quarterscores: 15-27, 39-41, 63-73, 92-89