MANILA – TNT KaTropa banked on its torrid second half shooting to take down the San Miguel Beermen, 104-93, in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jayson Castro led the way with double-double 24 points and 11 assists, while Jeth Troy Rosario made a triumphant return from injury to contribute 22 markers, including six triples, for the KaTropa, which rose to 2-2 card.
Down by as much as eight points early in the third, the KaTropa turned things around behind Castro, Rosario and Ryan Reyes for a 71-68 lead. Six straight points from Celedonio Trollano allowed the KaTropa to build an 82-74 advantage.
KaTropa’s lead was at 88-78 at the onset of the fourth period after a trey by Reyes but the Beermen banked on inside hits by Christian Standhardinger and June Mar Fajardo to come to as close as 85-90.
But KaTropa had a quick response from Castro, Trollano, Brian Heruela and Kelly Williams to increase the lead back to 100-89 before building its biggest lead at 104-89 on back-to-back layup by Castro.
Standhardinger had double-double 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Von Pessumal and Fajardo tallied 23 and 22 points, respectively, for the four-time defending champions Beermen (2-2).
Meanwhile, NLEX Road Warriors nearly squandered a lead as high as 31 points before coming out with clutch conversions to escape with a 107-97 victory over the Columbian Dyip.
The Road Warriors were scorching from the field for a 27-6 start behind John Paul Erram, Marion Magat and Kenneth Ighalo. It even went up to its largest of 31 in the second period behind Paul Asi Taulava and Kevin Alas.
The Dyip mounted a huge fight back in the second half and was able to come to as close as 86-91 in the fourth period but conversions from Magat and Philip Paniamogan preserved the win for the Road Warriors.
Erram finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and six blocks, while Ighalo and Magat added 17 and 14 markers, respectively, for the Road Warriors (1-3). JayR Reyes top-scored with 17 points, including four triples, for the Dyip (2-2)./PN