New TNT KaTropa import Joshua Smith picked up two quick fouls and had to sit out majority of the first half of this Petron Blaze Saturday Special at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi, Albay.
But help came from many sources as the Tropang Texters extricated themselves from a tight situation and fended off the Alaska Milk Aces, 119-110, to close in on the leaders in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round.
TNT had looked dead in the water as the Aces stormed to a 17-point spread right in the first quarter with Smith nursing two fouls incurred in the first 70 seconds of the ball game.
The Texters, however, fought back into the game in the second quarter and hung on before going for the kill at endgame.
Smith went on to finish the game and collected 23 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Texters chalk up a seventh win against three losses.
Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario, fresh from their Gilas’ stints in the SEABA Championship, provided big push along with Ranidel de Ocampo and RR Garcia. – PBA
TNT 119 – Smith 23, Castro 20, De Ocampo 15, Garcia 13, Pogoy 12, Tautuaa 8, Rosario 7, Williams 6, Semerad 5, Reyes 5, Rosales 5, Carey 0.
ALASKA 110 – Jefferson 29, Manuel 17, Casio 16, Abueva 11, Enciso 9, Pascual 8, Thoss 6, Exciminiano 4, Mendoza 4, Banchero 4, Hontiveros 2, Dela Cruz 0, Racal 0, Cruz 0, Galliguez 0, Andrada 0
Quarterscores: 23-36, 56-57, 88-95, 119-110.