TNT KaTropa completed a comeback as stunning as the Mayon volcano as it frustrated Alaska, 119-110, on Saturday night in Legazpi to get back on the winning track in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Texters erased an early 17-point deficit then banked on a late salvo behind past and present Gilas standouts as they registered their seventh victory in 10 games after the Petron Saturday Special at Ibalong Centrum for Recreation.
Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy suited up just two days after playing for the national team as they conspired with former Gilas star Ranidel de Ocampo in leading the late surge, while new import Johsua Smith made a solid debut for the Texters, who dealt the Aces their fourth straight loss that canceled out their four-game winning streak to start the conference.
The Texters were still down, 95-101, with a little over eight minutes left in the payoff period, before turning the game around behind Castro and co. who led a 24-9 run to end the game.
Castro scattered 20 points, seven assists, five boards, and one steal in 28 minutes off the bench like Pogoy, who added 12 points, six rebounds, two steals, and one block, and completed the three-point play that put the Texters up for good at 107-105 with 5:25 left.
De Ocampo started the game and finished with 15 points, six caroms, and three assists, and put the exclamation point on the TNT blast with an elbow fallaway with 39.9 ticks to go.
The stocky Smith, who replaced Donte Greene, paced the Texters with 23 points and 10 boards in just 20 minutes due to foul trouble.
Cory Jefferson led the Aces with 29 points and seven boards, while Alaska’ Gilas representative, Calvin Abueva, also showed his professionalism by catching up with his teammates for the road game and contributing 11 points, seven boards, and two assists in 16 minutes off the bench.
TNT 119 – Smith 23, Castro 20, De Ocampo 15, Garcia 13, Pogoy 12, Tautuaa 8, Rosario 7, Williams 6, Semerad 5, Reyes 5, Rosales 5, Carey 0
ALASKA 110 – Jefferson 29, Manuel 17, Casio 16, Abueva 11, Enciso 9, Pascual 8, Thoss 6, Exciminiano 4, Mendoza 4, Banchero 4, Hontiveros 2, Dela Cruz 0, Racal 0, Cruz 0, Galliguez 0, Andrada 0
Quarterscores: 23-36, 56-57, 88-95, 119-110