No sweat

March 09, 2019
Yousef Taha
YOUSEF Taha of Talk ‘N Text goes for an undergoal shot against Blackwater defenders during the PBA Philippine Cup Saturday Special at the Ynares Center. PBA Images

TALK ‘N Text proved too classy, too strong for Blackwater as it coasted to a 127-89 win in the PBA Philipine Cup Petron Saturday Special at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The KaTropa rode on a decisive first quarter breakaway and uncorked a record 26 unanswered points (an all-time high for any quarter) opening the fourth quarter as they blasted the Elite in a game they reduced to a virtual workout for tougher games ahead in the kickoff conference.

Roger Pogoy had nine points, Jericho Cruz added eight, Troy Rosario four and Anthony Semerad two points in that TNT explosion which pushed the Elite to kingdom come.

The Elite went scrambling on both sides trying to find an antidote to  the TNT explosion, only to end up an utter failure. Too bad, Raymar Jose even threw the ball at his opponent in frustration, and got ejected for the act with 8:45 minutes remaining.

The telling run game the KaTropa a 116-72 lead, going into the last 4:44 of the game.

TNT has now notched its fifth win in eight outings, bolstering its bid for a possible top two slots and the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

The Elite on other hand skidded to their seventh loss against two wins, and are in danger of getting booted out of the playoff.
    
Pogoy finished with 28 points, Cruz added 20, Rosario 17, and Reyes 14 as the quarter provided steady fires for TNT.

Only Mike DiGregorio and Allein Maliksi managed to produce double-digit output for Blackwater, with the former tallying 20 points and latter 13.

The KaTropa broke away early in the game, racing to 19-6 lead after 12-to-nothing blitz highlighted by Ryan Reyes’ back-to-back triples.

A basket by Rabeh Al-Hussaini and a triple by Mac Belo enabled the Elite to trim the TNT lead to 19-11 at the end of the opening period. The Elite then greeted the ensuing second period with a brief scoring salvo ignited by Rafael Banal’s three-point shot to narrow the gap at 21-19.

Quickly reacting to the snowballing Elite momentum, the KaTropa turned to Try Rosario, Bryan Heruela, Roger Pogoy and Reyes who teamed up for another telling scoring binge which gave TNT a 43-31 lead.

Although the Elite kept their offensive, they failed to muster enough challenge to match the TNT explosion. What happened instead was the KaTropa even stretched their lead to 56-42 on a triple by Jericho Cruz, before Mike Digregorio answered with a three-point play off Heruela’s foul to reduce the TNT lead to 56-4 at the turn.

The scores:

TNT (127) - Pogoy 28, Cruz 20, Rosario 17, Reyes 14, Trollano 11, Semerad 9, Taha 8, Heruela 6, Casino 5, Carey 4, Williams 2, Castro 2, Bono 1.

Blackwater (89) - Digregorio 20, Maliksi 13, Banal 9, Al-Hussaini 8, Belo 8, Sena 6, Jose 6, Desiderio 5, Sumang 4, Javier 4, Dario 3, Cortez 2, Tratter 1, Eriobu 0.

Quarterscores:  19-11, 56-45, 90-72, 127-89