Many expected a slow, rusty TNT Katropa to come out on Friday night against the Globalport Batang Pier after a lengthy 12-day break, but it went the other way around.
Showing no signs of slowing down, the Katropa easily dispatched the neon green-clad Batang Pier by 21 points, 109-88, to pick their fifth win in a row in the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
“We were able to take advantage of the long break,” addressed TNT head coach Nash Racela in the victory, which sends their slate to 5-1. “We had good practices. That really helped us.”
American reinforcement Donte Greene had his best shooting night so far, knocking in 48 percent from the floor en route to a game-high 33 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds in nearly 30 minutes of action.
The Katropa turned things around in the third canto, erecting a 14-point cushion, 68-54, after a Larry Fonacier lay-up with 8:09 on the clock. From there, TNT continued their streak and took the command the rest of the way.
With the affair turning out to be a one-sided one, TNT’s lead ballooned to as much as 32, 105-83, after a Greene-anchored 11-2 scoring spree concluded by Mo Tautuaa’s two-handed flush with just 2:32 to go.
“Our defense was decent tonight,” added Racela on the win. “Especially on Terrence [Romeo] and Stanley [Pringle], more so on their import.”
Indeed, TNT’s defense stifled the formidable backcourt duo and import Malcolm White. Romeo only finished with 20 markers on 20 shots, while Pringle only produced 15 on a 50 percent clip from the field.
The 6-foot-9 White, on the other hand, still managed to put up decent numbers of 21 points and 16 rebounds, but his stats were negated by his game-high eight turnovers — two miscues short of tying TNT’s 10.
“We shot well today. That helped us [also],” said Racela, as the Katropa shot a decent 47 percent from the floor, hitting 45 of their 95 attempts.
TNT also took advantage of Globalport’s mishandling of the ball, converting the latter’s 20 turnovers to 31 points. They scored better off second chances, 25-11, and their bench supplied 40 points of their total output.
Both teams will play their respective opponents on Sunday, April 23, still at the Big Dome. Globalport will go first at 4:00 PM against Mahindra, while TNT will battle it out against the Barangay Ginebra next at 6:45 PM.
TNT (109) – Greene 33, Castro 15, De Ocampo 14, Fonacier 12, Pogoy 10, Tautuaa 7, Williams 6, Rosario 5, Reyes 3, Rosales 2, Rosser 2, Tamsi 0, Hernandez 0, Golla 0, Carey 0.
Globalport (88) – White 21, Romeo 20, Quinahan 19, Pringle 15, Pessumal 5, Cortez 4, Forrester 3, Mamaril 1, Ababou 0, Maierhofer 0, Paredes 0, Aban 0, Pennisi 0.
Quarterscores: 27-22, 56-49, 77-65, 109-88