MANILA, Philippines – NLEX sent TNT crashing back to earth behind a fiery third-quarter assault to breeze through a 126-113 win in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, October 25.
Manny Harris unleashed 28 of his 40 points in the second half and delivered the goods down the stretch as the Road Warriors handed the KaTropa their first loss after going unbeaten in their first 7 games.
The former NBA player could not be stopped in the 3rd quarter, pouring out 20 points in the period that helped NLEX turn a 51-53 halftime deficit to a 90-80 cushion heading into the final frame.
Harris, who also contributed 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 7 steals, then scored his last 8 points in the final 3 minutes as the Road Warriors remained at the No. 2 spot with their sixth win in 7 outings.
TNT still saw a glimmer of hope after Don Trollano made it a 10-point game off a three-pointer with less than a minute remaining before Harris kept the opponents at bay with an and-one play.
Kiefer Ravena played the perfect running mate for Harris, finishing with 16 points, 13 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Jericho Cruz chipped in 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists in the convincing win.
Poy Erram added 14 points and 5 rebounds for NLEX.
The KaTropa were groomed to stretch their unbeaten streak after leading by as many as 8 points in the 3rd quarter, 68-60, only to witness the Road Warriors unload a 30-10 bomb that turned the tides.
Import KJ McDaniels was in his usual form for TNT with 42 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 blocks, but they badly missed the services of Jayson Castro, who sat out due to a minor strain on his right Achilles tendon.
Roger Pogoy saw his 35-point outburst go down the drain in the loss.
NLEX 126 – Harris 40, Ravena 16, Cruz 15, Erram 14, Quinahan 10, Paniamogan 8, Soyud 8, Miranda 6, Galanza 5, Fonacier 3, Ighalo 1.
TNT 113 – McDaniels 42, Pogoy 35, Rosario 11, Trollano 10, Digregorio 6, Reyes 4, Taha 3, Vosotros 2, Castro 0, Washington 0, De Leon 0.
Quarters: 24-26, 51-53, 90-80, 126-113.