ANTIPOLO – TNT got a big escape on Saturday and defeated a pesky Columbian squad, 125-120, in a thrilling PBA Governors’ Cup match-up at the Ynares Center.
The KaTropa stayed unbeaten and took solo first spot in the team standings by claiming their fourth win in as many outings after the Petron Saturday Special.
TNT, however, survived the challenge of Columbian with Jayson Castro saving the KaTropa from the blues to keep their undefeated slate going.
KJ McDaniels, RR Pogoy, and Don Trollano also helped TNT’s cause in the fourth quarter to stall Columbian, which fell to 2-2 in the team standings.
TNT coach Bong Ravena continued to lament the defense of the KaTropa after giving up more than 100 points in a game again.
“We are glad we won the game. But ‘yung dilemma namin. We can’t afford to give our opponents 30 points in a quarter,” said Ravena.
With TNT trailing by one, Castro took over, scoring a lay-up and a three-point play to gain a four-point lead, 114-110. McDaniels nailed a triple with 1:28 left in the fourth and that put TNT ahead by six, 121-115.
But Columbian didn’t give up.
CJ Perez hit a three with 59.4 seconds left to cut the deficit to three, 123-120, and came up with a crucial steal on the next possession. But the Dyip came up empty on that opportunity with Perez appeared to have hurried his attempt off a miss, and that led to Pogoy hitting two free throws to increase the lead to five with only 11 seconds left on the clock.
McDaniels topscored for the KaTropa with 29 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while Pogoy added 27 points. Castro had 25 points including seven in the fourth, while Trollano had eight of his 19 points in the final period.
TNT also spoiled the effort of Columbian import Khapri Alston, who had 38 points and 13 rebounds for the Dyip. Rashawn McCarthy erupted for 26 points, while Perez scored 23 points.
Columbian trailed by as many as 14 points, 6-55, in the third quarter, but the Dyip kept the game close and pulled to within three entering the fourth, 94-91, on a three by McCarthy.
The Dyip even took a lead, 110-109, on a pair of free throws by Alston with five minutes left but that was the last time they tasted the lead.
TNT 125 – McDaniels 29, Pogoy 27, Castro 25, Trollano 19, Rosario 7, Carey 6, Reyes 6, Vosotros 4, De Leon 2, A. Semerad 0.
Columbian 120 – Alston 38, McCarthy 26, Perez 23, Corpuz 9, Cahilig 9, Tiongson 8, Celda 3, Faundo 2, Flores 2, Cabrera 0, Calvo 0, Camson 0.
Quarters: 32-31; 66-53; 94-91; 125-120.