TNT KaTropa played tough sans an import in the last 18 minutes of play and upended Meralco, 91-85, to stay in the race for the Top Two in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday.
The Texters endured the lost of Josh Smith on a suspected fractured nose, leaning largely on the exploits of Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro and Jericho Cruz to nail the crucial six-point win.
Rosario scored a personal two-year high of 30 points, Castro added 20 while Cruz came through with nine of his 11 in the fourth quarter as the Texters checked a two-game skid and snapped the Bolts’ four-game romp.
Going to their final outing in the elims, the two teams are tied with identical 7-3 win-loss cards. Rain or Shine in on top at 8-1, followed by Alaska Milk at 7-2.
Minus Smith who sustained the suspected nose fracture on a wayward elbow by Arinze Onuaku, the Texters stayed calm and composed, and outplayed the Bolts to the finish.
TNT 91 – Rosario 30, Castro 20, Cruz 11, Pogoy 7, Romeo 6, Smith 6, Trollano 4, Semerad 3, Taha 2, Williams 2, Paredes 0, Carey 0, Reyes 0, Garcia 0.
Meralco 85 – Newsome 17, Dillinger 12, Amer 12, Hodge 11, De Ocampo 11, Caram 10, Onuaku 8, Baracael 2, Canaleta 2, Hugnatan 0, Lanete 0, Tolomia 0.
Quarters: 21-16, 36-38, 65-59, 91-85.