TNT KaTropa sizzled for 36 points in the first quarter and added to the frustration of Columbian Dyip with a 123-95 victory Friday and gained a share of the lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Troy Rosario scored 10 of his 21 points in the opening period as TNT shot 66 percent from the floor to take a 19-point lead, that set the tone of the lopsided affair highlighted by the return of KaTropa import Joshua Smith.
Terrence Romeo had 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals and Jericho Cruz scored 13 points as the KaTropa joined the idle Rain or Shine Elasto Painters atop the leaderboard with a 5-1 record.
The victory came a day after the PBA Board of Governors agreed to send the core of the TNT squad to the Asian Games in Indonesia this August to combine with the Gilas Cadets squad.
Smith was hardly needed in his first game since replacing Jeremy Tyler during the All-Star break, posting 11 points and three rebounds in just 13 minutes.
TNT 123 – Rosario 21, Romeo 19, Cruz 17, Trollano 11, Williams 11, Smith 11, Carey 9, Garcia 7, Semerad 7, Pogoy 6, Golla 2, Reyes 1, Castro 1, Nuyles 0, Paredes 0, Saitanan 0.
Columbian 95 – Fields 34, Tubid 13, Camson 11, Lastimosa 9, Gabriel 6, Khobuntin 6, McCarthy 5, Cabrera 3, Ababou 3, Celda 2, Sara 2, King 1, Corpuz 0, Cahilig 0, Escoto 0.
Quarterscores: 36-17, 72-40, 98-65, 123-95.