TROY Rosario set aside playoffs jitters and a mild sprain to make his presence felt in his first ever PBA quarterfinals appearance.
The lanky TNT rookie fired a team-high 20 points in leading the Tropang Texters to a 90-88 win over sister-team NLEX Road Warriors in their playoff match-up on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Rosario added six rebounds and took charge for the team in the payoff period when he poured in 11 of his points to help TNT complete the turnaround after being dominated by the Road Warriors three-fourths of the way.
And to think, the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart out of National University had to play through a left sprain ankle he suffered early in the third period while going for a lay-up.
“Tinatanong nga ng mga coaches kung kaya ko pa,” said Rosario. “Assure ko naman sila na kaya ko pa.”
He also said feeling a little bit edgy when he first entered the court for his first ever stint in the playoffs as a pro.
Rosario finished the first half with just two points.
“Nabigla nga ako. Nag-aalangan ako, parang ang bigat ng kamay ko, ang bigat ng bola,” he said.
The TNT big man did the next best thing – he stayed aggressive the last two quarters, saying, “Bumawi lang ako. Ang pangit kasi ng first half ko.”
As they say, it’s not a matter of how one starts the game but how he finishes it.