TROPANG TNT finally ended a rare losing run early in its pet PBA Commissioner’s Cup, dispatching Phoenix, 108-96, on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The defending champion Texters turned to the three-headed monster of import David Simon and star locals Ranidel de Ocampo and Jayson Castro as they maintained a sizeable margin throughout to snap a three-game skid.
Simon delivered for the second straight game, tallying 33 points, 22 boards, while De Ocampo and Castro added 20 and 19 markers, respectively for TNT, which moved out of the cellar after grabbing just their second win in five games.
The Texters also handed the Fuel Masters their second straight loss after the new franchise made a rousing debut with a win.
“They knew the importance of this game,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “Everybody contributed, everybody played well today…and we shot pretty well tonight compared to last few games.”
TNT never looked back after starting the game by scoring 17 of the game’s first 19 points as it converted 44 of their 86 attempts for a solid 51 percent overall.
The Texters also came through on the other end by limiting the Fuel Masters to just 38-percent shooting.
New Phoenix import Kevinn Pinkney was solid in his maiden stint with 26 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, and one block, but he shot just 6-of-21 from the field.
His numbers also paled to that of Simon as the TNT reinforcement completed an all-around showing with seven assists, three blocks, and three steals in just 35 minutes.
TNT 108 – Simon 33, De Ocampo 20, Castro 19, Rosario 9, Fonacier 8, Reyes R. 5, Rosser 4, Williams 4, Aban 3, Tautuaa 3, Ababou 0, Carey 0
PHOENIX 96 – Pinkney 26, Intal 16, Garcia 14, Baracael 9, Pennisi 8, Wilson 6, Brondial 5, Lanete 4, Urbiztondo 4, Fortuna 2, Monfort 2, Forrester 0
Quarterscores: 26-21, 51-42, 75-67, 108-96