MANILA – TNT KaTropa rolled to its third straight victory in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup via a 127-89 domination of Blackwater Elite last night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Roger Pogoy returned from one game absence to finish with 28 points while Ilonggo Jericho Cruz and Jeth Troy Rosario added 20 and 17 points, respectively.
The KaTropa improved to 5-3 win-loss record in this Cup.
It surged to a 19-6 start in the game on back-to-back triples from Ryan Reyes.
The Elite cut the deficit to 23-30 but the KaTropa pulled away anew to 56-45 at the half with shots from Jayson Castro and Pogoy.
The Elite tried to keep the match close early in the third period but the KaTropa went on widen the advantage anew at 90-72 with shots from Rosario, Cruz and Anthony Semerad.
KaTropa pulled away for good early in the fourth period with Pogoy unloading 10 straight points to stretch the advantage to its largest at 116-72 on five straight points from Cruz.
KaTropa head coach Ferdinand “Bong” Ravena said that at 5-3 they still have a fighting chance for one of the two twice-to-beat advantage but have to hurdle NorthPort Batang Pier, Alaska Aces and Columbian Dyip.
“I think we still have a chance, if ever maka-three wins pa, we still have a chance at top two,” said the Ilonggo mentor.
For the Elite, Michael Digregorio finished with 20 points while Allein Maliksi chipped in 13 markers.
With its loss, the Elite dropped further in the standings with 2-7 win-loss slate.
In the second game, Magnolia Hotshots reasserted its mastery on Alaska Aces with a 103-86 victory in two teams’ first meeting since their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup finals encounter late last year.
Ian Sangalang topscored with 24 points while Paul Lee added 20 markers for the Hotshots (2-4).
Chris Banchero finished with 26 points for the Aces (3-3)./PN