TNT KaTropa’s hot shooting trumped Alaska’s trademark defense as it coasted to a 109-100 victory to gain a share of second spot in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Philsports Arena.
Troy Rosario and Larry Fonacier caught fire from beyond the arc, knocking down timely treys that doused an Aces’ comeback attempt as the Texters notched a second straight win and fourth overall in six games to tie Blackwater.
The Texters entered the Christmas break on a high note after snapping the Aces’ three-game winning streak that dropped their victims to an even 3-3 win-loss record.
“The goal today was to play consistent basketball,” Texters coach Nash Racela said. “Alaska is our model team. They play hard for forty-eight minutes and we just tried to match that.”
“Our offense was just a bonus,” he added as the Texters buried 14 triples as a unit. “We were shooting well tonight.”
Rosario and Fonacier owned the most of those conversions.
Rosario, the sophomore forward, drained six treys on the way to a game-high 26 points on top of seven boards, one assist, and one steal in 27 minutes.
Fonacier, the Baby-Faced Assassin, added four triples, including half in back-to-back plays, the second giving the Texters a 104-90 lead – making up most of 11 of his 16 four-quarter points.
Jayson Castro joined the fray with two triples as he provided a spark off the bench with also 16 markers, along with six assists, two boards, and one block in 26 minutes before coming out with a cut near his eye.
Calvin Abueva led four Aces in double-figure scoring with 18 points on top of 12 boards and four assists, but the all-around was hardly enough to result in a win this time.
TNT 109 – Rosario 26, Castro 16, Fonacier 16, De Ocampo 10, Tautuaa 9, Rosser 9, Williams 8, Reyes 6, Rosales 6, Carey 3, Pogoy 0, Tamsi 0, Golla 0
ALASKA 100 – Abueva 18, Manuel 16, Racal 14, Banchero 12, Dela Cruz 8, Casio 7, Exciminiano 6, Mendoza 5, Cruz 3, Hontiveros 3, Pascual 2
Quarterscores: 31-22, 54-38, 77-70, 109-100