TNT secured the third seed in the quarterfinals after beating Rain or Shine, 100-85, on Saturday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Joshua Smith had 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Troy Rosario finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for TNT, which finished the eliminations with an 8-3 card. TNT ended up in a tie with Alaska but the KaTropa took third after losing the tiebreak.
Rain or Shine ended its six-game winning streak in a no-bearing game for the team. The Elastopainters finished the eliminations with a 9-2 card, still on top of the team standings.
With his team still fighting for seedings in the match, TNT coach Nash Racela said the KaTropa played like as if his team had a no-bearing game in the first half.
“Admittedly, it’s a no-bearing for them,” said TNT coach Nash Racela. “In the first half, just watching our players perform, I really felt they had the same mentality as Rain or Shine but we have to remind them that this game has bearing for us specifically over the last two weeks.
“We never had a complete team in practice. We never had time to work on a lot of things because they were all focused on Gilas,” said Racela.
Ryan Reyes also contributed for TNT, finishing with 12 points, while Terrence Romeo had two points but dished out 12 assists.
The KaTropa went on a 12-0 blast with Smith, Reyes, and Rosario conspiring in that big run to give the team a 59-42 lead.
TNT actually started to pull away in the second quarter when the KaTropa had a 9-2 run to take a 47-39 halftime lead.
TNT played without Jayson Castro, who was rested by Racela following the third window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Reggie Johnson had 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Chris Tiu had 11 points for Rain or Shine, which limited Gabe Norwood to 10 minutes in the game.
TNT 100 – Smith 25, Rosario 19, Reyes 12, Williams 9, Pogoy 8, Semerad 6, Trollano 6, Cruz 5, Garcia 4, Paredes 4, Romeo 2, Golla 0, Carey 0, Tamsi 0.
ROS 85 – Johnson 12, Tiu 11, Ahanmisi 10, Yap 10, Almazan 9, Belga 9, Nambatac 8, Onwubere 6, Daquioag 5, Torres 3, Maiquez 2, Norwood 0, Ponferrada 0, Borboran 0, Washington 0, Casino 0.
Quarters: 24-20; 47-39; 76-58; 100-85.