(Angeles University Sports Arena)
4 p.m. — Phoenix vs. Meralco
6:45 p.m. — Blackwater vs. NorthPort
ANGELES CITY — Talk N Text rallied from a 17-point deficit to bring down Alaska Milk, 100-95, in the first-ever game in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup restart at the Angeles University Sports Arena and Cultural Center here Sunday.
Jason Castro scored six of his 28 points in the final 1:01 of the game and Roger Pogoy exploded with a career-high 45 points to power the Tropang Giga to a dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Aces in the first game in the NBA-inspired bubble environment in Pampanga.
Alaska took the lead for the last time at 92-89 on two free throws by Michael Digregorio with 3:18 left.
But Pogoy nailed a three-point shot — his 10th in 17 attempts for the evening– to tie the score at 92-all with 2:54 remaining.
Castro took over from there.
After Ryan Reyes hit two free throws and Vic Manuel split his own trip from the line, Castro struck with six straight points that included four pressure-packed charities and a floating jumper to seal the victory.
Abu Tratter topscored for Alaska with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting in 28 minutes.
Digregorio and Robbie Herndon added 16 points apiece.
“Sa first quarter, kakapa-kapa pa kami at madaming lapses. Pero expected naman namin dahil matagal walang laro,” said Pogo, who even sustained a cut on his left eyebrow in a collision with Digregorio in the final two minutes.
“Kumpiyansa lang sa sarili. Pinag-pray ko ito na magagawa ko,” added Pogoy, who also had eight rebounds and two assists.
The two teams battled hard to a 48-all deadlock in the first half, with the Aces starting strong and leading by as many as 17 points at 32-15 before the Tropang Giga cane charging back behind the torrid shooting of Pogoy.
The former FEU star knocked in five triples in the first two quarters, the last pushing TNT ahead at 46-45. He added a layup as they even went ahead, but then Jaycee Marcelino got away with a three-point play to tie the count at halftime.
Pogoy had had 21 points through the first half.
Meanwhile, NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio believes the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, being staged in an NBA-like bubble setting in Pampanga, is one for the record books.
And so are its participants.
“History ito. Pagtanda natin pag-uusapan pa rin ito, na nagkaroon ng pandemic, PBA binabol, part tayo,” said Jarencio.
“Part tayo ng history. Hindi na ito mawawala sa Google, Wikipedia, mga ganoon.”
Of course, that niche would be made extra special if the Batang Pier win it all.
But Jarencio’s sights are trained right now on his team’s shape as it goes on a collision course with Blackwater on Monday.
“Basta kami, focus namin is to get the rhythm, ‘yung timing,” said Jarencio.
That is the same concern aired by Blackwater coach Nash Racela.
Talk N Text (100) – Pogoy 45, Castro 28, Rosario 9, Erram 4, De Leon 4, Semerad 4, Carey 2, Enciso 2, Reyes 2, Montalbo 0, Vosotros 0, Flores 0.Alaska (95) – Tratter 17, DiGregorio 16, Herndon 16, Manuel 15, Racal 8, Marcelino 5, Brondial 5, Eboña 4, Teng 3, Casio 2, Ayaay 2, Galliguez 2, Andrada 0. Quarterscores: 15-30, 48-48, 71-72, 100-95.