TNT KaTropa sent Mahindra crashing back to earth with a 104-92 decision to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Texters saw a tough challenge from the resurgent Floodbuster early on before finally turning it up a notch down the stretch to pull away for their first victory of the year that snapped a two-game skid.
Troy Rosario, two weeks after the birth of his first daughter, led the balanced effort with 18 points and missed a double-double by one rebound, capping his solid play with a putback slam that proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Floodbuster, whose two-game streak was snapped.
“I’m not so much satisfied (of our performance) based on this game, but the players are finding ways to play together and just deliver a positive outcome,” Texters coach Nash Racela said as his team jacked up its win-loss tally to 5-4.
“I know it’s a process, but I’m just hoping we’re moving to the right direction,” he added after talking about desire and effort following their loss to Star last Sunday.
Racela’s hesitation to fully laud his players was understandable as the Texters let the rebuilding Floodbuster go on top by six points at the half, before finally taking buckling down to work in the second half.
Rookie Roger Pogoy continued to play with maturity beyond his years as the rookie forward tallied 16 points, four assists, and four steals in 25 minutes, while Mo Tautuaa added 14 points and four boards.
Three more players scored in double figures for the Texters, who outscored the Floodbuster, 31-21, in third quarter, to turn the game around before breaking away in the final frame.
Alex Mallari led the Floodbuster with 19 points, seven boards, and five assists in 31 minutes that went for naught.
TNT 104 – Rosario 18, Pogoy 16, Tautuaa 14, Rosales 11, Fonacier 11, Castro 10, Reyes 7, Rosser 7, De Ocampo 7, Golla 2, Carey 1, Williams 0
MAHINDRA 92 – Mallari 19, Paniamogan 10, Yee 10, Revilla 8, Deutchman 7, Celda 7, Escoto 6, Salva 6, Arana 6, Galanza 5, Ballesteros 3, Elorde 3, Eriobu 2, Digregorio 0
Quarterscores: 29-25, 51-57, 82-78, 104-92