There must still be lingering effects off the flu-like symptoms Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario nursed following their arrival from freezing Kazakhstan last week.
Both the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers campaigners didn’t show any such signs as they led TNT into a masterful 100-92 victory over Rain or Shine Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Jericho Cruz, Ryan Reyes and former Elasto Painter Jay Washington also dished out significant roles as the KaTropa unleashed a balanced attack for control right in the second quarter and generally kept on going the rest of the way.
As a result, TNT won its second straight to improve to a 4-3 slate overall and a tie with idle defending champion San Miguel for fourth-running spot.
The loss was a stinging one for the E-Painters as not only did their five-game winning streak come to a screeching halt but they also relinquished top spot to 7-1 Phoenix after absorbing their second defeat in nine games.
Also, Rain or Shine’s bid for a top two finish in the eliminations and a twice-to-beat reward in the next round now hinges on it winning over Columbian on Wednesday and Meralco on March 15.
TNT 100 – Castro 20, Rosario 20, Cruz 15, Reyes 10, Trollano 7, Washigton 6, Taha 6, Heruela 6, Williams 5, Semerad 3, Carey 2.
Rain or Shine 92 – Yap 18, Ahanmisi 14, Daquioag 11, Alejandro 11, Mocon 10, Ponferada 7, Rosales 6, Belga 6, Torres 3, Borboran 2, Maiquez 2, Nambatac 2, Norwood 0, Onwubere 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20, 56-39, 75-65, 100-92.