TNT caught fire early to zap Meralco in a dominating 99-81 win for its second consecutive victory in the 43rd PBA Philippine at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City on Sunday night.
Banking on a rousing 16-3 start, the KaTropa never looked back and just doused the Bolts’ repeated rallies down the wire for their third win in five outings.
TNT led by as many as 23 points sin the convincing win spiked by 18 treys which sent Meralco reeling to its third straight setback for a 1-3 slate in the 11th place heading into the midway of the season’s opening conference.
Extending his birthday luck and celebration, Troy Rosario who had his 26th born day on Saturday, set the tone for the KaTropa with 22 points in 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc to go along 10 rebounds.
Fiery guards backstopped Rosario led by RR Garcia with an impressive 18-point, 8-assist performance being a starter.
Meanwhile, Baser Amer’s 20 points went for naught as the Bolts continued their free fall in the All Filipino conference with key players Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge still on the sideline.
TNT (3-2) aims to stop streaking Magnolia (4-1) for a chance to share second spot on January 27 while Meralco (1-3) will be up against the rejigged KIA (1-4) on January 24. The Picantos are coming off a gigantic upset over Rain or Shine.
Both games will be at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TNT 99 — Rosario 22, Garcia 18, Pogoy 15, Castro 12, Reyes 10, Semerad 10, Carey 3, Hernandez 3, Tautuaa 2, Torres 2, Williams 2, Golla 0, Onwubere 0.
MERALCO 81 — Amer 20, Dillinger 14, Canaleta 11, Tolomia 8, Newsome 6, Lanete 5, Bono 4, Hugnatan 4, Ballesteros 3, Faundo 3, Baracael 2, , Sedurifa 1, Caram 0, Salva 0.
Quarters: 27-18, 46-36, 73-62, 99-81.