ALASKA coach Alex Compton will have to wait a little longer before having a chance again to go the press room for the customary post-game conference for the winning coach.
TNT Katropa dealt the Aces their latest heartbreak, overcoming a huge deficit to pull off a 107-106 victory in a PBA Governors’ Cup matchup that went down the wire at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Friday night.
The Texters climbed out of a 14-point hole – and did it without Michael Craig after the TNT import fouled out with still a little over five minutes on the clock – as they turned to Roger Pogoy and Jayson Castro at crunch time.
The Texters thus kept the Aces winless in four games this conference and handed them a franchise-worst 12th straight loss overall dating back to the Commissioner's Cup.
“We knew Alaska is becoming a more dangerous team. The effort is there. Coach Alex has done a great job motivating them,” TNT coach Nash Racela said.
“(But) I really didn’t want it to happen today,” he added. “I was really scared of Alaska. Good thing the players stepped up.”
Pogoy was on target from long range, knocking down all but one of his eight treys, the last one giving the Texters their first taste of the lead since the first quarter at 102-101 with 1:38 left and the confidence that they could complete the reversal after trailing, 63-49, in the third quarter.
The unflappable TNT and Gilas rookie finished with 25 points – two shy of his career-high – Including 16 in the payoff period – his most in a quarter.
Castro then brought them home, draining a triple that gave them enough cushion for a last-ditch Alaska stand and capped off his all-around play that saw him register miss a triple-double by just one rebound after tallying 23 points and 10 assists.
Craig anchored the Texters early on with 28 points, 19 boards, and four assists, before fouling out at the 5:04 mark of the fourth.
The result spoiled another prolific offensive output from Buck Henton, who pumped in 42 points along with 22 rebounds, four blocks, and one steal in 39 minutes, as well as the return of Calvin Abueva, who contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.
TNT 107 – Craig 28, Pogoy 25, Castro 23, Rosario 15, De Ocampo 7, Williams 4, Garcia 3, Tautuaa 2, Carey 0, Hernandez 0, Semerad 0
ALASKA 106 – Henton 42, Abueva 19, Manuel 13, Banchero 12, Casio 6, Baclao 4, Enciso 4, Magat 2, Hontiveros 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0
Quarterscores: 17-20, 38-47, 71-80, 107-106