TNT KaTropa flashed its old, fiery form as it compounded the misery of Phoenix with a 117-98 victory on Friday night to get back on track in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Texters established an early lead and never let up as they dealt the Fuel Masters their second straight blowout defeat - six days after a 44-point beating at the hands of Star.
Kelly Williams continued his resurgence as the former league MVP registered 18 points and 10 boards, while Jayson Castro added 18 points in 21 minutes off the bench to lead the balanced effort for the Texters, who got back above .500 with a 3-2 win-loss card.
The Texters also gifted new coach Nash Racela his first official win at the helm as they handed the Fuel Masters their third loss in five games.
“Of course masaya, but this is not the main objective,” Racela said. “We have to continue to build as a team. Marami kaming gustong baguhin and it starts with attitude.”
“But we saw some changes already in this game,” he added.
After all, the Texters heeded Racela’s call to recommit to the displaying unwavering effort as they were on cruise control the entire game and led by as many as 28 points in the final frame as they shot 47 percent from the field and forced the Fuel Masters to commit 28 turnovers.
Williams went to work early by scoring his entire output in the first three quarter, while Troy Rosario, Kris Rosales, and Mo Tautuaa also put up significant contribution for the Texters.
Five players, led by Mark Borboran, also scored in double figures for the Fuel Masters, but their defense left much to be desired as they have allowed their opponents to score an average of 120 points in the last two games.
TNT 117 – Williams 18, Castro 18, Rosario 17, Rosales 14, Tautuaa 11, Carey 8, Pogoy 7, reyes 7, De Ocampo 5, Rosser 5, Tamsi 5, Golla 2, Sumalinog 0
PHOENIX 98 – Borboran 18, Wright 17, Baguio 15, Intal 11, Alolino 10, Caperal 9, Enciso 6, Miranda 4, Wilson J. 3, Wilson W. 3, Hayes 2, Javillonar 0, Lanete 0, Torres 0
Quarterscores: 28-22, 60-45, 90-69, 117-98