TNT KaTropa survived a late scare as it outlasted GlobalPort, 102-98, to clinch a quarterfinal berth in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Texters were comfortably ahead by 21 points at 94-73 when they saw the Batang Pier make a huge comeback, heaving a sigh of relief after the rally fell just short.
Rookie starter Rogery Pogoy continued to repay the coaching staff’s faith in him as he tallied a team-high 20 points and four boards in 29 minutes as the Texters held on to their sixth win in 10 games.
Troy Rosario also made up for a late offensive foul with a big defensive stand on Stanley Pringle and two charities that preserved the result.
“Wild game,” Texters coach Nash Racela said. “We’re very inconsistent as a team. That’s what we’re trying to address. When you to go the playoffs with that mentality, its’ going to be a problem. Good thing it's still early, so we have time to address it.
“I’m satisfied because we ended up winning the ballgame, but if you’re focusing on the details, that’s where the dissatisfaction is,” he added.
After all, the Texters saw their 94-73 lead they build early in the fourth quarter almost disintegrate as the Batang Pier made a run that saw them pull to within two points, 100-98, after a Stanley Pringle strong drive and layup.
Terrence Romeo dished out the assist to his backcourt partner, but he sparked the comeback by pumping in 13 of his game-high 35 points in the payoff period.
Rosario gave the Batang Pier another possession after committing an offensive foul on Nino Canaleta, but Pringle made an errant pass that gave the possession back to the Texters, giving Rosario the cance to redeem himself.
TNT 102 – Pogoy 20, Tautuaa 18, Castro 16, Williams 12, Reyes 7, Rosser 6, Rosario 6, Rosales 6, De Ocampo 6, Fonacier 3, Carey 2, Tamsi 0
GLOBALPORT 98 – Romeo 35, Cortez 15, Pringle 14, Canaleta 8, Pennisi 6, Semerad 6, Maierhofer 4, Paredes 3, Pessumal 3, Andrada 2, Quinahan 2
Quarterscores: 23-23, 53-49, 77-73, 102-98